Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Schindlers List- Lift your head, Square your Shoulders



One of the most powerful movie scenes in Hollywood history comes from Schindler’s List, the 1993 Academy Award-winning film about the Holocaust that tells the story of Oskar Schindler, an entrepreneur-turned-hero who saved 1,200 Jews from the Nazis by employing them in his factory. At the end of the war, the employees presented Schindler with a ring forged out of the gold from a worker’s teeth, with the following inscription from the Talmud: “He who saves one life, saves an entire world.”

This is an emotional moment. Yet, instead of feeling satisfied with his heroic role in saving lives, Schindler bemoaned the fact that he could have saved even more Jews. He wished he would have sold his car, his watch, anything in order to buy a life. At that powerful moment, Schindler discovered the value of one human being, and he would have paid anything to save one.

In those years, millions of Jews died in the Nazi death camps like Auschwitz, but Schindler's Jews miraculously survived.

To more than 1200 Jews Oscar Schindler was all that stood between them and death at the hands of the Nazis. A man full of flaws like the rest of us - the unlikeliest of all role models who started by earning millions as a war profiteer and ended by spending his last pfennig and risking his life to save his Jews. An ordinary man who even in the worst of circumstances did extraordinary things, matched by no one. He remained true to his Jews, the workers he referred to as my children. In the shadow of Auschwitz he kept the SS out and everyone alive. 

The story of Schindler and Stern, the central figures in Steven Spielberg's film Schindler's List, became known to the world at large primarily through Thomas Keneally's 1982 novel Schindler's Ark. It is one of the greatest movies that I watched.


Our world since then has become a large, impersonal, busy institution. 

Charles R. Swindoll says : We are alienated from each other. Although crowded, we are lonely. Pushed together but uninvolved. No longer do most neighbors visit across the backyard fence. The well-manicured front lawn is the modern moat that keeps barbarians at bay. Hoarding and flaunting have replaced sharing and caring. It's like we are occupying common space but have no common interests, as if we're on an elevator with rules such as: "No talking, smiling, or eye contact allowed without written consent of the management."

Painful though it may be for us to admit, we're losing touch with one another. The motivation to help, to encourage, yes, to serve our fellow human beings is waning. People have even observed crimes in progress but refused to help so as not to be involved! Our foundational values are getting lost in these confusing days. And yet, it is these things that form the essentials of a happy and fulfilled life.

A man of God recently shared, “God doesn’t punish, sin punishes because Jesus has taken all of our punishment on himself.” Sin has consequences and God allows us to walk through those consequences on earth. He also allows us to go through pain, suffering, persecution and trials, but that does not diminish his love for each of us! He hurts when we hurt, even when we have brought it on ourselves. Because of Jesus, God already sees us as saints seated with Him, that is not something that happens just in heaven. He already sees us in that way.

Hear this: you are not who others say you are. Why should they label you? Determine who you are before God. Let Him determine the level of your success. Why should others be allowed to live at their highest potential, but not you? You are more than your past, more than your education or CV, more than the colour of your skin, more than your bank account, and more than your circumstances. Tell those who talk down to you and devalue you, 'You're confusing me with somebody else. God says I am a prince. And if I'm a prince, then I have the right to be treated like one!' You ask, 'But is that true?' Yes, the Bible says that when you walk with God, you are part of a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). You are an overcomer (1 John 2:13-14). You are the head and not the tail, above and not beneath (Deuteronomy 28:13-14).

In his popular book I Am Third, former professional football player Gale Sayers explains the book’s title as part of his motto for life which is: “The Lord is first, my friends are second, I am third.” With this attitude, no one would sell out another person for their own gain. Imagine the kind of world we could build if everyone would put God and others before themselves instead of the opposite! This week, let’s make Gale’s motto our motto.

Blessings,

Raj Kosaraju

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