A 'Veteran' - whether active duty, discharged, retired, or reserve - is
someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to
"The United States of America," for an amount of "up to, and including his
life." - Unknown
“I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” – Paul the Apostle
These two statements parallel one another. There are so many similarities in being a Christian and joining the military…
It’s an entirely new culture
you learn a new language
a new set of rules or regulations or standards to live by,
you answer to an authority,
your life is not your own,
you give up your freedom... freedom of time, choice, priorities, rights, etc
you adopt a mission
your life has purpose
you're a part of a larger community that brings about bonds that nothing can break...
I remember when I was at ODS (the training school for some officers in the Navy) thinking that Christians need to go to one of these training schools... where we get in shape and learn the basics of the world we're stepping into, learn discipline, have mentors... oh wait! did I find that at Impact!?!?!:):):) Maybe not quite as intense as ODS... seeing as it isn't 24/7... but it has driven me to a sleep deprived state where I've learned my body and soul and mind can endure much more than I ever thought possible.
But back to the parallels... the military builds incredible camaraderie, lifelong relationships and commitments...times of terror and times of such incredible fun and laughter... brings life in that you're living for something much bigger than yourself... it creates boundaries which it turns out that we as humans thrive on! One thing it lacks... HOPE. What hope does the war fighting machine bring? The force that sends out it's people to front lines to face bullets, the worst elements a person can experience, fear and terror that were never meant for us in the Original Earth. The terror of seeing legs blown off, young men crippled by cancers due to exposure of toxic chemicals, families torn apart... I see no light at the end of this tunnel... no HOPE.
But my God, my Christianity, my Faith, my Community, my Savior... they bring me HOPE. An incredible tapestry that God has created for us to learn about him, to thrive in relationships, to live for something bigger than ourselves, to live in boundaries that only a loving, compassionate, omnipotent Father would create, sends us out on missions where our lives are put on the line and yet secures the terror that comes with the pervasive HOPE that this is not all there is... that this is just a stepping stone to a life that we are created for.... A life where we are secure in our identity, we have an eternity to live for, every potential need has been thought of and provided for, a life where we get to live with boldness, with adventure and best of all with no FEAR. None. Because Perfect love casts out all fear. A LOVE that sacrificed HIS best for the good of all. Incredible.... so there are some parallels... but I'd say life in Christ is way better than life in Military:) And you might say I'm in two militaries... the physical one and the spiritual one:)
Friday, November 26, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
The other day I went walking. All over Ocean Beach and I came across a part of the sidewalk with an orange cone warning pedestrians. The sidewalk had been torn apart and so as I started to walk around it (annoyed at the small detour), something told me to stop and look. Why was the sidewalk torn up? And when I looked I saw a complex mix of tree roots which then made me look up and see a beautiful green tree with white bark and the clear blue sky as the wallpaper behind it. It was a healthy tree with a birds nest on one of its branches. It's roots had gone so deep and spread so wide and become stronger than the cement that attempted to hold it down that it tore up the sidewalk!
I want to be like that tree with roots that go so deep and spread so wide and become so strong that nothing in this world can hold me down or cause me to shrivel up and die.
The one whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
According to the psalmist, to be that tree I must be the one whose delight is in the law of the Lord... the one who meditates on his law day and night.
And then maybe I will truly experience as all God's people should how wide, how long, how high and how deep God's love truly is.
That is my goal and my resolution for the year 2011.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
I'm going to the Philippines:) And do you know what? I always forget if there are two "L's" or just one. There is just one. But I think I will still forget... even after I write this:) Here are some images that showed up when I googled the country:
What I knew before this about the country was: Some of the Christian girls (our missionary friends in Thailand) were born there, my Grandpa Kenealy was stationed there at the end of WWII, and it is islands in Southeast Asia. Thats it.
So here is something that I've realized:
Some of you might remember that I was set to deploy on a humanitarian mission to Haiti with the Navy following the horrific earthquake. With all my bags packed, new uniforms ready, and an excited heart; it was cancelled. My heart was broken. This was what I had joined the Navy for and it had let me down. One of the senior nurses who was prior enlisted (she had many years in the Navy) told me, "Don't worry... something better always comes around in the Navy. It never lets you down and it's always more exciting and more along the lines of what you wanted to do anyway."
Hmmm. Something in my heart said "That's not right." But I found a bit of hope in it. Then I found out about the Discipleship Training school, then I signed up, then I attended, now I'm 8 months in and 1 month from completing the school, and have a trip to the Philippines payed for and time off work.
I was looking out over the ocean this morning on the pier thinking about the last year and I realized that something better DOES always come around... but not because I'm in the United States Navy. It's because I am an adopted daughter of God's family.
"But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to be children of God, to those who believed on his name."
"Behold! What manner of love the Father has bestowed on us that we should be called Children of God!"
And my Father in heaven has only good things planned for me. Some things I might not understand, they might not seem better, and they might not feel better. But I know that "all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose."
Today, his purpose for me is to complete Impact 195, go on this trip to the Philippines and love and get to know him even better every step of the way.
Will you join in the work by praying? Pray for unity, pray for knowledge of who God is, pray for wisdom in how to love well, pray for humility, and pray that you will daily look for the good things that God has planned for you in your life:)