I Have Returned
" I Shall Return"
1984, Arnold Schwarzenegger said “I’ll be back”1 as the Terminator in the movie with the same title. He did return by crashing a car into their front door.
“I’ll be back” sung the Beatles, in 1964. (I don’t know about the song, but they did come back again and again to the top of the music charts, song after song after song even after they broke up in the 1970s and even after they were down to two Beatles).
“I shall return” cried General Douglas MacArthur in Australia, March of 1942.
And two years and seven months later he said “I have returned” in the Leyte Gulf, in the Philippines, October of 1944.
Okay, so many are saying they will be back. You most probably said the same thing to somebody yourself.
But have you ever asked yourself why General Douglas MacArthur was more famous for his line “I shall return” which has been synonymous to his name than for when he have actually said “I have returned”?
For wouldn’t it be more commonsensical to be known or identified for the promise that he did keep than the promise itself?
Many people didn’t believe him though.
In fact the US government and the other Generals and Commanders in the US Armed Forces wanted him to change his promise to “We shall return”.
Because for one, they did not know when they will be back or if he ever will. Two, they weren’t sure who specifically will be back. And three, they had no intentions of returning or they didn’t even want to return.
But General MacArthur stuck to his word, he stuck to his promise and guess what, even after over 30 months have passed--about 1,000 days, and even if many had already lost their faith in him ever coming back, he did.
He did, as he had promised, coming up with a strategic and workable battle plan, angling for needed arms, supplies and armed forces, wrangling with the US President, fighting the US establishment and sparring with his fellow Commanders.
Because he knew that people’s human rights were being trampled, people were being oppressed and exploited, his own people as well as innocent people and civilians were being brutalized, tortured and were dying every single day he didn’t return.
Because he knew that there were still underground armed forces who were doing the near impossible of fighting guerrilla warfare trying to fight superior numbers and fire power with sheer will and determination.
And yes, because he promised to.
2000 Years Ago
Going back some more, to about 2000 years ago, there was a man who was born, who lived and who have died in what is now known as the land of Israel who made the same promise.
A promise that was even more “too good to be true”:
“..I will come back and take you to be with me..” said Jesus of Nazareth, 1st Century, as quoted by John (NIV)
And since then and for the last 2000 years, people who have lived closely with Jesus, who saw him up-close, who actually saw the things he had done, who actually heard the things he had said and who suffered and died by it, have told the next generation after them of this promise. And then that generation telling the next and so on.
Think about it, which is easier to reproduce and be believed for all this time? Jesus’ words and his promise all being a big lie or it being actually true?
Think about it, why would the people who personally saw and heard him or who have first-hand contact with the people who did, die for his promise? (Yes much like what the so-called Battling Bastards of Bataan and the guerrilla forces who died in the Philippines did)
And think about it, why for the last two thousand years, was his words and his promise still abound? I know what you might be thinking, “there’s a sucker born every minute” but think about it, that saying could go both ways.
So are we like the underfed, undermanned, underground guerrillas in World War II Philippine Islands still holding the fort until our General comes back, because we believe he will?
Or are we the living-the-good-life collaborators who lost our faith and sold our souls to the invading army because we knew there was no hope of a return for General MacArthur and his forces?
Think about it.
1 The same line (or some variant of it) was also spoken in many if not all of the Terminator sequels.
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