Soldiering On – Part 1

In this post we focus on the long run…

Image result for descendants of the sun

…of 16 episodes of Descendants of the Sun

As I have mentioned before, Mr Gochugaru and I often have conversations about our favourite K-Dramas and the most memorable scenes from these.

When we have the time to watch some TV, we tune in to Viki and choose the next K-Drama to watch. Whilst in South Korea earlier this year we caught one episode of Descedants of the Sun and wondered if it merited the huge fuss over it. Our friends in Seoul who usually spurn such dramas, as they have enough real life drama of their own in this most fascinating of cities, even mentioned it more than once.

We finished the series last night and I have spent some time thinking hard of why I enjoyed DOTS (as it is now known to fans) so much. Romance? That’s quite common in these stories and the push-pull tension is nothing new. Good acting? That’s a given as South Korean actors are probably the best in Asia. Exotic location? I can take or leave that because to me even Jeju Island counts as exotic.

In the final analysis I realised that my favourite episodes were the ones where loyalty, commitment and the keeping of a promise came through. The story centres around lives of Captain Yoo Si Jin, head of a South Korean Special Forces unit* and Dr Kang Mo Yeon, an ace surgeon at a prestigious hospital in Gangnam.

Captain Yoo has sworn allegiance to his beloved country, the Republic of Korea. He has vowed to protect and save its citizens in all circumstances. In addition, when deployed to UN situations, he is dedicated to ensuring world peace.


Image result for descendants of the sun


Dr Kang has taken a medical oath which in essence is a promise to treat and save anyone regardless of race, religion or background.


Image result for descendants of the sun


So what happens when they are both faced with situations where to save a person is really all there is, regardless of the personal cost to their own safety, health and happiness?

That’s when I felt very sad because I realised that the unwavering resolutions of Captain Yoo and Dr Kang reflect the mission of God in a very human way. From the very beginning it was always God’s intention to save us, the people he had made, and to bring us into a personal relationship with him. The 10 Commandments from the Old Testament actually starts with I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

The story of the Exodus is nothing short of the story of God keeping his promise to always love and protect his people. Is there a personal cost? Of course there is, in the God-in-human-form of Jesus, who took on the burden of making things right between man and God. Personal sacrifice? Totally.

As Christians, we remember that our God is a God who keeps his promises to look out for, look after, comfort, protect and ultimately save us. As friends to our neighbours and colleagues, and as members of the families we part of, we need to reflect this by honouring the promises that we make to each other and to uphold our moral values regardless of what the world says are more desirable ethical principles.

That, I think, is one of the messages coming from Descendants of the Sun. How do we translate that into a very personal relationship, between a man and a woman? We explore that in Soldiering On – Part 2  (next post).


* Captain Yoo heads Alpha Team. Definitely not Bravo, not Charlie and in the series, Delta is not even mentioned. If you are going in for bravery and all-out heroism, an Alpha Male really needs to be head of the Alpha Team.