I was only a long train journey today and found myself just staring out the window.For some reason this movie came into my head,strange cause this first in 04 when it came out and the DVD is somewhere in storage.I am an extremely visual and auditory person and this has been rather problematic for those close to me for when I see a movie once or twice I will be reciting most of it,and that can be quite annoying or so I have been told.I don’t mean to do it but it just happens sometimes.
If you missed the movie somehow the plot is basically an American Captain who is haunted by what he has done on the battlefield and as a result he has a drinking problem,a functioning alcoholic of sorts.He is hired to train the Emperor’s soldiers in Japan as they are to fight against the Samurai.He then gets captured by the Samurai and brought back to their village and it is then that his journey starts.
Anyway,going through the movie in my head one scene among many others came to my mind was when Algren (Tom cruise’s character) was in talking to Katsumoto,the head of the samurai clan that had captured him.It went something like this:
Algren: [shouts] What do you want from me?
Katsumoto: What do you want for yourself?
This questions I have asked at times in my life frustrated with not getting any answers,thinking that God is holding me captive somewhere without me knowing what the purpose is.The more I saw the response the more light bulb went in my head.
Later on in the story Algren goes through a detox and was screaming for Sake (a Japanese alcoholic drink) and having nightmares,this was clearly a guy with demons,lets face it we all have a few of those.We see a little later slowly getting to peace with himself spiritually and mentally,he kept a diary, so a fellow blogger he was.He had this to say in it:
” This marks the longest I’ve stayed in one place since I left the farm at 17. There is so much here I will never understand. I’ve never been a church going man, and what I’ve seen on the field of battle has led me to question God’s purpose. But there is indeed something spiritual in this place. And though it may forever be obscure to me, I cannot but be aware of its power. I do know that it is here that I’ve known my first untroubled sleep in many years.”
Later on he writes:
“What does it mean to be Samurai? To devote yourself utterly to a set of moral principles. To seek a stillness of your mind. And to master the way of the sword.”
With each moment I was replacing what he was saying I instead asked “what does it mean to be a Christian?To devote yourself to a set of just morals and values.To renew your mind.And to master the Word of God.”
At this point he is suffering nightmares no more,the addiction is gone,he has finally found a measure of peace.
There are many great scenes and conversations between the two many characters,both learn from each other as evident in another conversation;
Katsumoto: You believe a man can change his destiny?
Algren: I think a man does what he can, until his destiny is revealed.
At this point I am relating more and more that before I was merely doing what I could waiting on the Lord to reveal my destiny and my purpose to me,only I didn’t know it at the time.
The ending sees Algren meeting the Emperor who at this time has a change of heart and he knew Katsumoto who at this point has been killed in battle and I find this exchange interesting:
Emperor: Tell me how he died.
Algren: I will tell you how he lived.
Like most of us the Emperor was interested in the end,but it would seem to me that Algren had opened his eyes so to speak,renewed his mind and saw that its not the end (result) that matters more but the journey.
In our walk through life we have questions,we may be broken,in pain,lonely,lost,angry,confused,bitter,broke,in addiction(and I believe addiction is not the problem in itself there is always an underlying issue,look at the relapse rates trying to cure the addiction and not dealing with what’s causing it but that’s a post in itself in the future) whatever it is,the good news is that like you too can have an ending like Algren,though it maybe a bit hard to find a Samurai clan that will help deal with your issues.You could follow my example and try God,Free of charge and 24/7 365 support,and only one prayer away through Jesus.
Right before the end credits a narration
“As for the American Captain, no one knows what became of him. Some say that he died of his wounds. Others, that he returned to his own country. But I like to think he may have at last found some small measure of peace, that we all seek, and few of us ever find.”
Wow peace we seek but only a few us find.You too can be The Last Samurai.