Logan to Ben: “You’ll be the guy next to me. That’s how marines work. You don’t worry about yourself. You worry about the guy standing next to you.”
There is this brilliant moment in The Lucky One when the newcomer in town, Logan, asks his new young friend, Ben, to play an instrument with him in church.
Ben is just a boy. His parents are divorced. His father is hard to please and has very set (and narrow) ideas about what being a man is all about. Playing the violin isn’t quite his father’s idea of manly coolness, so Ben hides his talent and his love for the violin.
Logan barely survived the war and is trying to put the pieces of his life back together. He has seen enough death, destruction and hate to last a lifetime. He has learned to value stillness, peace, beauty, and music. Music and beauty aren’t a threat to his manhood; they are a part of it—he’s a musician himself.
In his intuitive way, Logan sees Ben’s love of music and his natural giftedness. He also sees Ben’s fear and insecurity about it. So when Ben is naturally resistant to the idea of playing a duet with Logan in church, Logan compares playing a duet with being a marine. (Note the subtle genius of that comparison—he made playing music as manly as being a marine.) He explains that Marines don’t focus on themselves; they focus on the person next to them. This is how they face danger; it’s how they handle their fear—they don’t think about themselves, they think about the guys standing next to them.
This is actually very Biblical. Jesus says that when you lose your life, you find it. “Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.” In other words, when you focus on yourself, you lose. It’s when you choose to serve others, to put their needs above your own that you find yourself. This is what happened with Ben. He chose to put aside his fears and play alongside Logan, because Logan “needed him” for the duet…and in so doing, his confidence blossomed. e He He cho
It’s this very sacrificial lifestyle that makes Logan such an attractive character. He consistently chose to focus on the needs of others, even when it was costly to himself, like when he chose to serve Beth by fixing her Dad’s boat (without her knowing), even after she had rejected him. Perhaps even more costly, he graciously walked away from Beth though he loved her… dare I say, because he loved her… when she asked him to. What a contrast to her ex-husband who had his own needs always present and center. Logan never claimed his rights, never talked about what he needed, he simply chose to give of himself, to serve others and put their needs before his own. In a divine sort of paradox, this laying down of his needs and rights became the very means by which he found them. He found love when he let it go. He found healing when he sought the healing of others. He found joy when he gave it away.
Questions for Discussion:
- Have you ever been in a position where, like a Marine, you had to forget yourself and simply focus on the guy standing next to you? Describe.
- Have you had times where you tried to cling to something, but lost it?
- What examples in your life can you think of where you found your life (or some piece of it) by giving it away?
- When have you done something that cost you greatly, but found that in the end you were the one that was received the most?
- How can you apply this paradox to some particular part of your life today? Luke 17:33, “Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.”
Click here for quotes from the movie.
-By Stacey Tuttle-
Luke 17:33; and similarly in Matthew 16:25