Molon Labe: Come and Take It

Dark clouds boomed overhead dimming the sky like mud in a puddle. Underneath them stand 300 men, all beaten and bleeding; most unable to stay up without the aid of a comrade. There was an eerie silence about them. Each soldier clenched his sword in one hand, and held his shield in the other. Cool air embraced them as it was scooped from a nearby ocean. The natural silence was broken as a dark mass appeared in the horizon. On the men’s left and right are two tall towers of rock climbing into the clouds. Behind them, all of their loved ones hide in their homes. The men are the only gate stopping the quickly approaching mass from destroying their town. Without their blood, the blood of their family members would be shed. They knew the debt that they had inquired when they marched into battle. Each soldier began white-knuckling his sword as the mass could be separated into thousands of men. A tall bearded man stood before the group. His dark eyes pierced through his half broken helmet and penetrated into them. They knew what he was about to do; it was the only option. With one swift motion he raised his blade and shouted in Greek “MOLON LABE.” He then turned, lifted his dented and scratched shield from the dust of the earth, and ran bravely into the attackers. As swords were thrown, and blood was shed, the Spartans all took their final breath in the name of sacrifice.

Fast forward 2316 years and another group of men are sitting under equally dark clouds. Blood stained sand surrounds the boots of each soldier. Friends lie motionless in the corners of their fort as a raging army continues its attack. The fallen soldiers final breathes were taken days ago. Their sacrifices were well noted, but the outside attack was not quenched. The only thing keeping the cannon fire and bullets from ripping through them is the crumbling walls of an old church. Only three days ago 186 men stood inside the garrison. Now there are barely 40 who can walk, talk, and fire a rifle. In the heart of the church stand two men, one holding a large serrated knife, and the other wearing a faded coon-skin cap. Both have leathery worn down faces, but their eyes pierce through the hearts of everyone still alive. The intensity of gun fire outside the weakened church walls began to increase, and everyone inside could hear the attacking army quickly approach. Death was imminent, but if these brave men did not fight the approaching infantry, then all of their loved ones would suffer a similar death. The man in the coon-skin cap set his rifle in the bloody dust and leaned down to pick something up. From the ground he lifted a flag and held it above his head. Across the fabric of the stained banner was the image of a cannon and the phrase “Come and take it.” Without a word he began running to the partitions of the church still holding the flag high. As dozens of enemy soldiers climbed over the walls the soldiers at the Alamo took their final breath in the name of sacrifice.

Everyone knows the stories about the 300 spartans and the Alamo, but few people know that they died saying the same thing. “Come and Take it.” All great acts share a similar characteristic that people admire. It’s not that people are forced to appreciate them, but that there is a global moral code that everyone, no matter how lost they are, abides by. The idea that a man or a woman can bid their life for the life of another and bravely cry Molon labe, or come and take it, is universally awe-inspiring.

 Do you know why? It’s because human nature is, fundamentally, geared towards keeping oneself as safe as possible. The idea of putting yourself in the position of non-safety is scary, but the idea of putting yourself in the position of non-safety to ensure the safety of someone else is counter-cultural. And we love things that are counter-cultural.

Even the first Christian martyr, Stephen, died to exemplify the idea of Christ whom he loved. As he was dragged from the tabernacle by aggressive persecutors and stoned to death he cried to God, “come and take my spirit.” Come and Take it. But it doesn't stop there?

Jesus was captured by the roman army after a night of sweating blood. He was then dragged before merciless men to have blood brutally beaten out of him. Finally, he was NAILED to a cross where he bled the last of his blood onto the sins of mankind. And when he took his final breath he raised his head and said, “Father, come and take my spirit.” Come and take it.

All great stories have the same message. Molon labe, come and take it, means more than how it sounds. These are the words of a man who will not stop until he has fallen for the final time. It takes blood, a lot of blood, to keep a true hero from uttering this phrase.

So why do I tell you this story? Because, the only people who will finish reading this post are the ones who have an ounce of desire to die for a cause. A lot of people will shrug this off as an attempt at a motivational speech, but it’s not. I can’t motivate you to die for something; I can only motivate you to try something. This post is for people who already have the character to sacrifice for someone/something. All I ask is, when the time comes, will you make that sacrifice, and is that sacrifice for the right thing?

 Just think about it.

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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance

The Effects of Glucose Supplementation on Barbell Velocity and Fatiguability in Weightlifting - A pilot study"

The Accute Effects Of Different Squat Intensities on Vertical Jump Performances
The Accute Effects of Different Squat Intensities On Jump Performance

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.