Band of Brothers
I finally got to watch these movies after a couple of spurts and starts. I was supposed to borrow them from one friend and ended up leaving them at his house. Then I was able to watch the first movie from a tape I borrowed, then there was nothing for a couple of years. I finally borrowed them from another friend and watched them all. It took a couple of very late nights and early mornings but I did finish them.
It was all worth it! The movies MovedMe in the usual ways that they move a man. First, a Band of Brothers brought together by a transcendent cause to fight for. Second, a leader (Richard Winters) to admire and aspire to be like. Last but not least the battle scenes, blood, and gore. A great formula for a great man movie.
But none of these are the reason for this blog on Band of Bros. I was most moved by the way that Easy Company was "rewarded" throughout their years in service. From their Bootcamp until the Germans and then later the Japanese surrendered Easy Company was always rewarded with the most dangerous assignments. You may be wondering why I call these rewards...well calm down let me explain.
It all started in Normandy when Easy Company took out three German guns, which later ended up being a text book manuever. It continued to taking cities and then holding the line in freezing fox holes. Even risking life and limb to take some German hostages for seemingly no reason at all. In all of these circumstances Easy Company was always asked to do more, risk more...even going without hot showers, a bed, or a warm meal. These men endured losing their friends, being later led by an incompetent suit of a soldier and so much more. Yet I continue to say they were rewarded every step of the way.
Here's the thing through all of the battles, through all of the hardships, through it all they were asked to do more because they were the best. I believe that the highest form of flattery and esteem for ones skills and talents is to be asked to do more. We find this in sports where the stars are asked to play the most minutes of every game. And we find it in a little parable which I quoted above. Jesus himself tells a parable, as story, of a master who rewarded his most faithful servants with nothing less than the "charge of many things", in other words more work.
This idea to me is quite opposite of what I think I would want for a reward. To me a hard days work would be rewarded by kicking up my feet with a cold drink of some sort. The thought of more work seems the opposite of a reward...it seems like torture. But there it is in this movie and from my Lord's perspective the best reward is more work.
We see it illustrated well at the end of the war when Easy Company turns from combat soldiers to occupation soldiers. All of a sudden they have nothing to do, nothing to fight for, nothing to live for. These men who were wounded and died in honor were dying dishonorably in car accidents and drunken fights. They were leaving to be consultants in Normandy air show re-enactments and sent throughout the countryside to find German officers in hiding. After the valor of what they had been through it seemed so hollow no matter how nice the scenery or how hot the showers.
I was listening to a pastor speak the other day at a men's conference. He made a statement that really made me think. He said he was disturbed with the fact the men, Christian men especially, wanted a life of ease. He said we, men, were not made for ease...we were made for battle, a transcendent cause, for work! I quite agree.
The end of the story, the parable Jesus was telling not the movie, says it best:
Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Mttw 25:28-30)
Here's to abundance and more [work] vs. darkness, weeping, and gnashing of teeth [rest]! I am only given this one life to live I want it to be used to the fullest. Rest and redeemed work will come soon enough in heaven. Amen!