Been spending a little time this morning reading through stories on the Congressional Medal of Honor Society website (http://www.cmohs.org/) in preparation for Sunday. Talk about highs and lows of emotion. The stories of complete sacrifice by these men (and one woman – Dr. Mary Walker from the Battles of Bull Run, Chickamauga, and Atlanta) read like scenes from the best war-thriller novels – storming bunkers, jumping on grenades, carrying out wounded comrades, charging lines.
What’s different about these stories, however, is that right in the middle of reading about a soldier running ahead despite being mortally wounded, reality hits. These aren’t characters in a novel. These are real people. This really happened. Because of this man’s sacrifice, many actual families would have a chance to see their loved ones again. Because of this man’s sacrifice, his actual family wouldn’t.
I am so soft – so comfortable. Here are these men who sacrificed their own lives to help save someone else’s life. Yet here I am struggling with the willpower to get myself off the couch in order to go across my quiet, suburban street to help save someone’s soul.
Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than to lay down their life for a friend.” Now, unless I’m way off base on my eschatological interpretations, I’m figuring that the chances are remote that I’ll ever be called on to do this (besides that, I’m much too old for the military to want me, and, with the Great Red Menace gone the way of month-old borscht, my dreams of becoming one of the Wolverines are out the window, too). So, if I’m not going to be called on to physically lay down my life for another, how else can I lay it down?
I am so soft – so comfortable. Yet Christ calls me to something more. Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” I’m doing way too much living. How can I lay down my life? By laying down my ease, laying down my comfort, laying down my hobbies, laying down my time, laying down my remote.
I don’t typically like to write this heavy, but this is where my study today has left me. Thinking. Mulling. Wondering just what all I need to change, so that along with Paul I can stop doing all this living and, finally, really start doing some living.