Every culture throughout history has honored their warriors. There is something within the human heart that recognizes greatness, honor, courage and sacrifice. And while war is horrible and something that one of us as people of Faith wish would ever have to happen, the reality of our broken world is that there is sin and free will and evil and therefore, men and women are needed to protect the innocent, the weak, the powerless; to serve the common good and restore order from chaos and establish peace in places of hatred.
As we honor the brave men and women of our current generation and every generation still living that have proven themselves in times of peace and war by always being ready to serve and to sacrifice, we are called to support them and be filled with gratitude for what they have done. But how can any of us truly know what they have done. It has been said that to get to know a man you must walk a mile in their shoes. How many of us will ever wear those combat boots and go off to war or train for battle in peacetime, or go into places that most normal humans would run from—in order to help those in need? We can’t. And so we must be grateful for what we can hardly comprehend.
Except when we do anything in our daily lives that their sacrifice has granted us the privilege to do; the ordinary, and yet by virtue of their blood, sweat and tears, the now extraordinary tasks like voting and worshiping where and how we choose. Being able to speak freely, write freely, assemble freely—without fear of reprisal from the government. Being able to go to work, earn a living, choose a career we enjoy, raise a family, pay our bills, shop, go on vacation, etc., etc., etc.
When we do these things with reflection, with an understanding of how and why we are able to do them—why we are able to live in relative freedom, then we begin to walk a little in their shoes. Any honorable warrior serves for love of family and friends, for ideals of good, for freedom, for peace. So each day, as I walk about my daily tasks and routine, I walk each step in the shoes of one of our warriors who has made it all possible.
And I am reminded that I too, am called to greatness—a greatness that comes from walking in the shoes of others each day as a follower of Jesus Christ. All of us are called to be honorable warriors in the army of God in the battle of good versus evil. May we allow the grace of our Lord to fill us with His courage and Spirit to be ready to do anything necessary to fight sin and temptation in our own hearts and throughout the world.
Dear Jesus, please bless all of our veterans and their families, who have sacrificed so much to serve others. Help me to be inspired by their example to fight sin in my own life and to be victorious with You on the last day. Amen.