I just finished watching one of my favorite movies, Saving Private Ryan, with my oldest son. I like movies which make me reflect on my life or have a greater life message embedded in the story. In the story, the army captain played by Tom Hanks is searching for a private Ryan who received a ticket home because his three other brothers have been killed in action during WWII.
Many men die on the way to fulfill their mission of saving private Ryan. When the small group of men reach private Ryan, the army captain says to him “make sure you earn this”. Many years later, private Ryan, is paying his respects to the fallen soldiers at a memorial cemetery. With tears in his eyes, he looks to his wife and wants to know if he was a good man. He wants to know if he lived his life in such a way that he earned the right to live while those men gave their life to save him.
If someone gave his life for you that you might live, would you live your life differently? Would your life mean more to you? Would you try to make a difference? Would you try to earn the right to be alive? I believe that living life with this thought in mind causes you to cherish every day for the gift that it really is. This thought allows me to love those around me more deeply. I believe that Jesus was my army captain who gave his life for me and then asked me, ‘will you earn this gift by how you live your life?’ The proof that I see played out is that when I allow myself to live from that place of gratitude, my life and my relationships are much more beautiful to me.