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:)