ENCOURAGEMENT FOR TODAY- Are You Earning Your Story?
One of my favorite movies is Saving Private Ryan. Although the opening scenes are horribly sobering to watch, the movie shows the horror of war and the honor of sacrifice in a way that only the talent of a Steven Spielberg can capture. My respect for the military and veterans of previous wars grew a hundredfold after watching it.
Many scenes stood out for me as poignant. However, one not only brought tears to my eyes but also beautifully stated what we are all to do with our stories.
Captain John H. Miller, played by Tom Hanks, has traveled a long and dangerous journey with his men through battle to find the last remaining son of a grieved mother. Most of his men have died or been wounded in the process of trying to save Private James Ryan, played by Matt Damon.
Captain Miller has suffered a mortal wound and is offering his last words to the man for whom he and his team have sacrificed. In his last breath Captain Miller looks into Private Ryan’s eyes and says, “James … earn this. Earn it.”1 Even as I write and recall that moment in the movie, chills run up my arms. Those few words say it all. Captain Miller was asking James Ryan to earn the sacrifice and the journey that happened on his behalf. The captain did not ask him to pay the sacrifice forward but to earn the sacrifice and the story of what happened on that day.
The journey of the stories of our lives is no different. Regardless of the pain, losses, joys, trials and intersections, our stories are not to merely be lived or even paid forward, but to be earned and used for a purpose.
A purpose lies in our stories. Something is meant to happen because of them. Our stories should cause us to look back, learn, and make changes for our future. We can go back and learn from the great things we have done, the wrong choices, the pain, those moments when we said, “Never again!,” the places where we went left instead of right, and those things we responded to because we were hurting.
Our stories should give us hope. What is hope? Hope is remembering the events of the past and recalling the joys, dreams and visions while eagerly anticipating their fulfillment in a time that hasn’t occurred yet.
Our stories show us our wiring and our uniqueness. There are a zillion people in the world but each of us has a unique story. You have a unique story, certain pain, and struggles you have gone through, talents, thoughts, gifts, abilities that only you can bring to the table to make a difference or impact in someone’s life.
- Directed by Steven Spielberg, Produced by Ian Bryce, Mark Gordon Gary Levinsohn, and Steven Spielberg, Written by Robert Rodat, Distributed by DreamWorks Paramount Pictures, Release date United States: July 24, 1998
You can do this!
As always, if you have questions, comments, suggestions on topic areas or would like to share some of your story, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you.
Dream Madly, Pursue Wildly, Trust Completely tm
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Copyright © 2013 by Charlotte D. Hunt All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopy, or otherwise without written permission from the author except for brief quotations in printed reviews.