I had something else slated to post this week which honestly were random thoughts from vacation. However, after the recent tragedy where 31 of our troops were lost at war, it seemed disrespectful. I had just finished listening to the morning news as I was getting ready for the day. I heard the parents of a young navy seal who was killed in action. They described how their son loved God, his family and his country. They went on to share their hope for America; that it could be the America they once knew and not the one it’s become. These people love their country and they do not want their son’s death to be in vain. As they sat there, grieving so heavily, struggling for every word through tears…I couldn’t breathe.
I thought of the America this father was describing…it was the America where I grew up but my children never knew. There was certain innocence along with pride and patriotism. I grew up during the years of the Viet Nam War and great civil unrest in our country. Even with that in mind, my life in a rural farming community was simple and still felt safe. We learned to work hard, to be good citizens, to have strong morals and to love and serve God. It wasn’t complicated. There were three television channels and people didn’t argue or debate on any of them. We respected our elders, our leaders, our country, and one another.
The message wasn’t messy…I don’t even know what the message is anymore. Too many opinions have too many people talking and it’s too loud! I don’t wish to complain about this age driven by self-involvement, instant gratification, and enablement that leads to this pervasive sense of entitlement. I only long for the conduct of the generation that secured the greatness of this country. There used to be a pronounced and acceptable form of conduct based on service and sacrifice. Instead, we see this insidious self-indulgence and self-interest that has sadly invaded our culture. But…I have hope.
There is a remnant which is defined as a residue; a small part of something that is still left; a trace of something such as a feeling or emotion; a group of people surviving from a culture. I still believe that there are people that can impact this culture in a positive manner. People like these soldiers who were willing to be dedicated to the cause of freedom…even if it meant death. Moreover, is there any other cause more important than the cause of Christ? This cause fights for the lives of men and women; where they spend eternity and how they spend life on earth as well.
Today, the wife of one of the slain soldiers said, “Freedom isn’t free”. Here she was honoring the cause along with the legacy of her husband and the father of her two babies. She said, “He is a great man, I mean he was.” What can be said after that? Again, I couldn’t breathe.
Some things are worth the fight and worth the death. Our perspective, as a country and as the body of Christ, must change. The only reason to look inward is to change in ways that will help us look outward. We are at our best when we are serving and serving means…WORK! But, how gratifying is working and accomplishing something purposeful and lasting?!
From this one American, I want to say thank you. Thank you to these soldiers and every soldier and their families. From this war and every war you have afforded us our freedoms and privileges through your willingness to forfeit your happiness and the creature comforts of normal life. I do not take these sacrifices for granted and do not count them as common….not at all. Thank you for our America, my America…“The Land of the free because of the brave.”