I love movies. Before the years when I had to get a summer job, I would walk to the local West Coast Video and rent movies multiple times a week. I love getting lost in visual stories, arresting atmospheres, and conflict beyond anything I’ve experienced. The best movies pull you out of reality and usher you into the suspension of disbelief. Take something like The Matrix for example. That trilogy took society by storm and made people genuinely question the deeper levels of existence. This love led me to take a semester of screenwriting in Fairfield’s MFA program and complete a full length screenplay.
I believe that movies can teach us about life. One of the films that hits every qualification on my list is The Gladiator from the year 2000. Russel Crowe plays Roman general Maximus, betrayed by the emperor and sold into slavery. His family is killed and, as a gladiator fighting in the Coliseum, he works to win his freedom and get revenge. You can see the trailer below and, if you listen closely, guess at the topic of this post.
Crowe’s character says, in a classic movie speech:
“What we do in life echoes in eternity.”
As a man, this idea is important in three areas:
Father: Your children notice everything. Sit with that for a second. They notice every word, glance, action, and expression. They absorb your very presence and use it to fuel their growth into adults. They will use your example to make choices and parent their own children one day. Your actions echo into their lives.
Husband: There’s a reason you stand in front of a pastor, priest, judge, religious official, etc. to get married. It is a serious commitment. As much as your children notice everything, your spouse notices even more. I can try to hide things, but Val sees through my defenses. We’ve loved, suffered, healed, and grown together. As men, we are told to operate on two fronts: leading and serving. We are to guide our families and, in the same moment, show them selfless love. It is not an easy job.
Faith: Our walk with God is a marathon, not a sprint. It is a path filled with mountains and valleys. If you don’t know God and are in the midst of your search, know this: There is an answer to your questions. There is filler to your empty spaces, as large as the universe and as intimate as the oxygen you inhale. Your choice is faith will echo for your own eternity.
As men, we are called to be servant leaders. We may suffer. We may lose everything but we can never lose hope. There is always something worth fighting for. Every day, every step, every word and deed will echo into eternity. When your time is over, what legacy will you leave?
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33