Soldiers amaze me. They lay their life’s down every single day for our sakes, and our country does such a crappy job of thanking them. But they do it anyway. A life of uncertainty and selflessness. For as a soldier you follow orders. TO the T. No questions asked, you just do what you are told. Almost blindly they step out into battle fields, trusting their higher ranked officials. Ofcourse, common sense is not replaced by blind following, however, following orders is of high importance. A day for them can be peaceful, or it can be filled with evil people trying to kill them. They never know what the day will bring. All they can do is wake up and face whatever comes their way. However, in an odd sense, this is what they enjoy. A true soldier lives for the battle. Have you ever wondered why some soldiers after they come home from war, they want to go back? I have talked to many Army and Marine (sorry, don’t really know any coast guards nor Navy.) soldiers who have returned from the war wanting to go back. Kinda crazy if you ask me. But when you talk to them, it kinda (almost) makes sense. “I never felt more alive”. they say. In the midst of the battle, the uncertainty, the trials, they have never felt more alive. Why? I don’t think they nor any of us for that matter can answer that. but the truth is, that for some, they feel truly alive when they stare down the face of death itself on a daily basis. Some of the soldiers get wounded, badly. To the point that they cant fight anymore, and this wound kills them. Not just physically, but emotionally, for that which made them feel so alive, has been taken from them. and now, in an odd way, they are dead.
Why this thought you may ask? I think that as Christians, we are in the same boat. True life for us, is not when everything is going peachy. In an odd way, true life is when everything is uncertain. Scripture says we are in a spiritual war. Everyday is a day where we wake up not knowing what we are going to face. Our walk? dangerous. Much more than that of the world. We struggle with ourselves and everything else around us. We are not comfortable, rarely ever. We are the targets of many attacks, and some of us have sustained heavy wounds. We follow blindly our creator for that is what is asked of us. and yes, I did say blindly, for there comes a time when we have to believe in spite of our understanding. This is not to say that common sense goes out the door, but common sense comes into submission of the uncertainty of life. The Christian walk is not for the weak. The true Christian walk that is. Sure, you can go to church, you can say your prayers, you cannot curse and you cannot do “bad things”. But this is far from a Christian walk. A friend of mine once told me that he felt Christianity had become more about managing sin than anything else. Moreover he proceeded to say something that has challenged me even as I write this note. he compared Christianity during the 1st century and today and he made a remarkable observation. “Christians died back then not because they managed their sin, but because the challenged the way people lived during that time.” and I totally agree with him. Sin management is important because God has called us unto sanctification, to be more like Him. However, He called us for Much MUCH more. He called us to live. Like the soldier in battle that has never felt more alive than while at war, he has never felt more alive then when the certainty of death is high. The oxymoron of life.
Christians have become comfortable in their management of sin and thus they have died. Afraid to engage in an offence. afraid to take a stand. Life, escapes their grasps and leaves them comfortably empty. Lifeless and desiring nothing. 1st century Christians were respected and feared. the scriptures says that they were respected but no one dared join them. In other words, people though twice about joining the Christian movement for they knew that to do so, would be entering into a all out war….the same way people think twice about joining the military, to do so, would mean the possibility of facing death itself, in one way or another.
Boot camp weeds out those that are not fit for enlistment, and strengthens those that are. I feel God is prepping to put his children through boot camp. Some will realize that they really don’t want to keep going. Yet some will realize that they have never felt more alive.
Juan Castillo Jr.