Saving Your Private Ryan

Saving Your Private Ryan

Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.

Ephesians 4:1

In the movie, Batman Begins Bruce’s friend Rachel says that “it’s not who you are underneath, it’s what you do that defines you.”

This statement was certainly true in one of the most amazing movies ever made – Saving Private Ryan. It dominated the Oscars with 5 wins when it was released in 1998 and there’s a good reason for that. The film follows the journey of an American platoon of World War II soldiers as they march across war-torn Europe in search of Private Ryan, the only living son of four brothers. The others have been killed in the war. 

It’s a unique plot; usually, the platoon of brave soldiers puts their lives on the line for a mission. In this case, the mission is the life of one man.

The Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:1 also describes a mission as to “lead a life worthy of your calling”. No other organisation I think carries that statement out better than the Salvation Army. Yet we too are called to the same mission.

Capt. Miller in the movie was willing to make his life count for someone else. Jesus has made an even greater sacrifice for you and me than Capt. Miller made for Private Ryan, so we must live our lives in a way that shows God we take the sacrifice of His Son seriously.

Do you know what’s fascinating to me about this whole movie? In a very powerful and graphic way, it shows me what Jesus has done for us. When the American government decided Private Ryan needed to be saved, along came Capt. Miller. The point is this; Private Ryan could not save himself; why? The enemy was too powerful for him. But, with Capt. Miller’s and the soldiers help and their willingness to sacrifice, not only did Private Ryan survive, but the enemy was overcome. 

The movie lets us know unreservedly that private Ryan knew he had been given new life because of Capt. Miller’s sacrifice. Therefore he made the decision so to live the rest of his life trying to “live up to” the sacrifice Capt. Miller and his men made for him. Like the Apostle said “Living a life worthy of his “calling” consumed private Ryan for the rest of his life.

The movie ends with most of the men in the platoon losing their lives trying to save Private Ryan. It’s a story of sacrifice, from beginning to end. 

This fine example hopefully encourages you and me as our saviour made the worthiest of sacrifices that lasts eternally. Let us try and live a life that is worthy of the sacrifice Christ made for us. 

Take a moment to consider this week what you could do to live out your calling. Who knows it could be life-changing.

Stay safe blessed.