Friday, January 18, 2013

the good soldier

Earlier this month, my family flew out to California for Travis' long awaited boot camp graduation. After over 3 months of spotty and undependable snail mail as our only communication, I was ready to see his face and get a good hug out of him!

As Platoon 1073 marched towards us, it was hard not to notice their perfect unison. Hundreds of hours of discipline under the torrid San Diego sun had refined each step, each hand placement, each perfect posture, and each resolute focus. When they stopped, I found myself looking at the ground where the sun played with their shadows. Even they seemed to be one long, interrupted line.

Share in the suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 
No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits since his aim is to please the One who enlisted Him. 
2 Timothy 2:3-4

This verse shone in a new light after being able to witness what it looks like to stand among enlisted men. When each Marine enlisted, they knew they would be leaving behind families, friends, and homes for a new life of structure, discipline, and training. A life where their eyes are unwaveringly fixed ahead, anticipating the day that their hours of toil and preparation will be called upon.

When Jesus called to leave everything and follow Him, did I really understand what that meant? Does my spiritual life reflect the picture that 2 Timothy gives us of being unentangled, wholly set apart, from civilian pursuits?  The life of an enlisted soldier in the army of God requires leaving everything behind and not stopping to be distracted by things on the sidelines, eyes fixed ahead. 

Can you see the correlation? Our uniforms are a bit different; we don't have spit-shined shoes or medals pinned on our chests, but we have the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). We don't fight a physical war, but the spiritual war is raging and I want to be ready to fight. 
Maybe we all need a bit of boot camp.

"And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life." -Matthew 19:29

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