Edward Zwick’s The Last Samurai (2003) is not one of my favorite films. It’s not a bad movie per se – just not a great one. That said, it does have its moments and there are scenes from it which I can and do appreciate very much. The clip below is one of those scenes:
Famed author and poet Oliver Goldsmith once said, “Success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall.”
I think that the above scene is a fair illustration of that.
Tom Cruise’s character, Nathan Algren, is beaten down multiple times – and he keeps getting up. Given the option of staying on the ground, he chooses to rise. One. More. Time. Ultimately, his opponent has to take the sword away from him altogether. And later on in the film, we see that Algren’s show of perseverance wasn’t for nought: it earns him the respect of those around him. Those who once held him in contempt.
It’s a lesson worth remembering – one which is, I think, all too frequently forgotten. Every worthwhile pursuit requires courage and perseverence on the part of the pursuer – the will to get up out of the mud and keep going no matter how much it hurts, no matter how many times you’ve been hit.
Christianity is no different.
Paul writes in 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” He persevered, despite countless obstacles and tribulations, and what did he get for it? “… an exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” (2 Cor. 4:17)
Is not that a glorious recompense?
“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope.” (Rom. 5:3-4)