In the 2009 movie thriller “Taken”, a former spy (Liam Neeson) sets out to find his estranged teenage daughter who is kidnapped by an international prostitution ring. He will rescue her at any cost. The movie is very powerful for dads to watch because it is exactly what many of them would do if they ever found themselves in the same situation (and with the same skills). If you haven’t seen the movie, I would recommend it for parents. It is rated PG-13. It should be rated R.
What amazed me about this film were not so much the special effects but the story line. A mom who would leave behind her better judgment just to appease and please her daughter; a dad who would leave behind everything for a spoiled-rotten teenage daughter who plays mind games (heart games) between her father and her rich step-father; and of course, close friends who would betray him for money. One noteworthy dialogue between a close friend and the former spy goes something like this, “It’s not personal, it’s just business”. The father’s line is just as fitting, “It’s all personal to me.”
However, for me, the most moving part of the movie was the end. After battling against all odds; after having destroyed parts of Paris; after having murdered countless thugs; and after nearly dying a thousand times, this man returns home with his daughter and receives a “thanks daddy” before the girl takes off with her mom and step-father. I was left with my mouth wide opened and a feeling of ungratefulness that would have made me ask the question “Was it all worthwhile?” This young lady did not or could not appreciate what her father went through for her salvation.
These are the words of the prophet Isaiah: “Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly spent my strength, yet my reward is with the Lord, my recompense is with my God…My God is now my strength.” These could have been the words of our Savior after hearing the ridiculous promises of fidelity made to him by Peter and the rest.
These words could easily be ours too, especially when we are having a bad day with my boss, the kids, with my husband or wife, or with my family and close friends. How quickly it can all be lost; and what great trails we must endure to get it all back! And yet, is it ever really appreciated? Can anyone ever really appease the thirst of forsaken love?
I do not think we will ever be able to appreciate what the Lord went through for our (for my) salvation! I do not think I will ever be able to cry the tears my Lord did sweat that dark night that had fallen upon him in the garden of Gethsemane. How will I ever be able to repay such a supreme act of love? Does the Lord wish for me to suffer as he did? Yes and no. No, the Lord does not want us to suffer for him, but for others – for the conversion of souls.
Would the Lord have sacrificed himself just for me? I am reminded of a beautiful story I once read a while ago. An old man was walking along a beach at dawn, he noticed a young lad ahead of him picking up starfish and flinging them into the sea. Finally catching up with the youth, he asked him why he was doing this. The answer was that the stranded starfish would die if left until the morning sun. The old man replied, “But son, the beach goes on for miles and there are millions of starfish. You won’t make a big difference.” The young boy looked at the starfish in his hand and then threw it to the waves. He looked up at the man and said, “It makes a difference to that one.”
How much more the Lord did, and just for you and me. We had been taken, and then saved! Now, if we could truly appreciate it.