The Last Samurai

I love this movie. It has been one of my very favorites for years. As I placed it in the DVD player yet again, I pondered why I love this movie so much.

There are such great lines throughout:

“They are an intriguing people. From the moment they wake, they devote themselves to the perfection of whatever they pursue. I have never seen such discipline.”

“The perfect blossom is a rare thing. You could spend your life looking for one, and it would not be a wasted life.”

The movie challenges me deeply as to my own moral foundations, my purpose and drive in life. For what am I fighting: equality, recognition, pride, self worth, achievements or something else – something more eternal and worthwhile? Some battles aren’t worth fighting, while others definitely are. The film challenges me deeply in my own seriousness in following Christ as I see the total dedication of the Samurai. Looking for perfection, self discipline, focused lives…

So much of what the Samurai had in their lives Algren seems to have lost; and watching this journey of one man trying to find his soul and purpose in life again, to escape from his nightmares and the country in which he’d lost faith reminds me of times when I have lost my way or lost my faith in things or others. His was a journey to find peace and oneness, meaning in a seemingly meaningless world. What is my journey and where am I on that journey? Captain Algren does find that peace in the Samurai mountain village with the quiet and very beautiful Samurai widow. I can’t run away to some secluded mountain village, but some days so need to find peace within my day-to-day life.

Christ says ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light’ (Matthew 11: 28-30 NIV). Isn’t it interesting that Jesus doesn’t just say He will give us rest, but that we will also learn from Him. A life of learning, rest, purpose, focused dedication… That’s what appeals to me.

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