Thursday, May 27, 2010
Memorial Day Thanks
As I write this post, I'm sitting in my living room watching my boys play and anticipating a GREAT pasta dinner my wife is making. Both are a wonderful way to kick off the coming long weekend. Our plans are to do some work around the house, spend lots of quality time as a family, visit some close friends in Gettysburg, and enjoy what appears will be several beautiful days during Memorial Day weekend.
Ironically, many of those we honor during this time will not have these same privileges. They are fighting abroad in Iraq or Afghanistan, or stationed at any number of military bases all over the world. Many others still have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
As a preacher, my calling is not subject to human law. As Paul told Timothy, we are to preach "in season, and out of season." This means we speak of Jesus when it is popular and when it is unpopular; when people like it and when people hate it; when it is legal, and also whenever and wherever it is against the law.
Many who share my calling in other parts of the world are fulfilling that calling under the threat of persecution, arrest, and even death. As a follower of Christ, I like to think that I would also be this faithful to Him. At the same time, I'm thankful to live in a place where I have no fear of being arrested or killed--with government approval--because of my faith.
And the lion's share of credit for these freedoms belongs to our soliders, our airmen, our sailors, our marines, and members of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Just today my wife showed me this very touching photo of a young boy running toward his dad, who had just arrived back from a tour of duty. Take a look: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gwinnclan/4190853880/
Upon seeing this photo, my first thought was, "how many countries exist in the world where a child can run toward an attack helicopter with absolutely no fear?" Other places in the world fear their military. Here, our soliders are heros.
To those of you who have served to defend our freedoms past or present, thank you! This weekend is about you and the sacrifices you make. We Americans are a fickle and diverse group of people. Sometimes, we may not even agree with where you are going and/or why you are fighting. But all of us should recognize that you who "follow orders" are the ones who truly guard our freedoms. On this Memorial Day weekend, know that you are loved, appreciated, and will never be forgotten.