Live. Die. Repeat.


When I first watched the movie trailer for Edge of Tomorrow, starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, I rolled my eyes.

“Here comes another save-planet-earth-from-an-alien-apocalypse movie. Let me guess the plot line: a bunch of special effects go on a quest in search of a story.”

When watching the preview a second time, however, something began to resonate with me.

Major William Cage is an untrained soldier who is air dropped onto a battlefield to fight against overwhelmingly powerful alien forces. In the first few minutes of combat, he is mortally wounded. But then he wakes up, only to live the same day all over again. And again. And again.

Live. Die. Repeat.

OK, I’ve seen all this before. I’ve been there. I’ve lived this.

Years ago, I was air dropped into hostile conflict. It was the first time I had ever really seen combat. Like Major Cage, I was running around the battlefield, asking other preoccupied soldiers how to get my safety disengaged so I could fire my weapon. Before I got an answer, I was taken out by enemy fire. Then I woke up only to repeat the same sequence again and again.

As I continued to watch the Edge of Tomorrow trailer, I saw more of my story.

Major Cage meets Special Forces warrior, Rita Vrataski, who gives him personal insight into what is happening to him. Then she says it’s up to him to engage and overcome the enemy if planet earth is to be saved. He protests.

I’m not even a trained soldier.

I’m not prepared for what’s out there!

Neither was I.

Maybe you know what I’m talking about.

When we’re untrained and inexperienced in spiritual combat, not only are we unprepared for what we will encounter out there, we are equally unprepared for what we will encounter inside our own hearts.

Consequently, we are struck down on the battlefield—over and over again—often having no idea what hit us.

So, how do we escape the spiritual cycle of live, die, repeat?

Like Major Cage, we find community with those who can provide insight into what we are experiencing, and who can help train and equip us for warfare. In community with our fellow soldiers, we become increasingly aware of God and more sensitive to His direction. We become more alert to the enemy and increasingly cognizant of his strategies.

We learn. We grow. We change. And we become world-changers. We not only learn how to defend ourselves from assault, we learn to engage the enemy and take territory.This is all possible because the World Saver went before us, and now leads us, in His own counter-invasion to rescue planet earth.

By fixing our eyes on the World Saver, and banding together with our fellow soldiers, we participate in His victorious campaign. That’s how we are delivered from the cycle of live, die, repeat. 

That’s how we save the world while being saved in the process.

When have you found yourself watching your own story?




4 thoughts on “Live. Die. Repeat.

  1. Great post today, Dave!

    I can’t really say that I’ve had the spiritual analog of that experience, or that I can remember it…but I am going through something similar, physically.

    Lack of ability to get any real rest has made yesterday and today and tomorrow flow together, but when the sun comes up, my first thought about the new day is “This is gonna hurt.”

    And it does. But by putting one foot ahead of the next, I get through most of what’s needed, and reach the refuge of night-time, when there are fewer things to have to do.

    Building the habit of accepting the pain has made it easier. It’s going to hurt, but I go through yesterday, so I’ll get through today. Tomorrow can take care of itself.

    • I appreciate your reply, Andrew.
      I think your saying in reference to your ongoing, acute physical pain applies to life in this present age–“This is gonna hurt.”
      And your approach to your walk is instructive for all of us–one step at a time through this day.
      I am thankful for the refuge you find as the day winds down.
      And I am grateful for the thoughts you shared.

  2. Don’t laugh, but the movie I used to resonate with is The Princess Diaries. I felt invisible to those around me. It took years to move beyond the point of struggling with insignificance. To come to the point of realizing that I am never invisible to Jesus or to the people He’s brought close to me in this life. He’s taught me to find my identity in Him rather than in how people do—or don’t—see me.

    Great post, Dave!

    • Believe me, Jeanne, I am not laughing. You saw something in that story that resonated with how you felt. Often we see ourselves more clearly in the mirror of another story.
      And you are so right. We are not invisible or insignificant to Jesus.
      I appreciate your willingness to share how you identified with the character in Princess Diaries. Thank you so much.

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