It is Memorial Day again. Another day set aside to remember all those people who have been and are overseas, on the home front, and others stationed “at home” doing necessary work to keep us safe. A day to honor those who have given-up an “easy” life as civilians for months or years and those who have given their lives. We also need to remember the families and friends who have lost time and years with their loved ones.
I have conflicted feelings about the military, a necessary tool, a theological compromise, needed in a world where evil is present. If God’s Kingdom reigned fully on earth, we wouldn’t need it. But, as we are still in the midst of repairing the fallen world, we need the military, police, and other means of security and external control as we, the imperfect, cannot control ourselves.
CNN.com posted an article on the experience of a military chaplain. I have great respect for chaplains who go into the military – a world where the peaceable kingdom is so distant and a place where, I imagine, it can be hard to hear God’s voice. This particular article reminds me of the needs of those returning home and the need for all people – even thos in ministry – to be constantly open to God. Anyone may think they have a special connection to God, a special calling, but that calling has to be renewed daily. Our connection with the Holy Spirit can be strong, but it is also very fragile. The moment we think we have the answers, that we know what God wants, we can find ourselves listening to our own wants, not God’s.
Following God is very difficult. We are not saved once, but over and over again. Life continues to put challenges in our path, and we must always find ways to check-in with God. If on the battlefield or in our homes, God’s Word – not ours – needs to be put first so we can find the right path.
Lord, guide my path. Help me keep my eye on You and not mistake my own wants for Your Will. Amen.