All souls are always being tested; but like no other time the process is building to a crescendo by factors that have never existed on planet earth!
“There is no greater love than this: that a person would lay down his life for the sake of his friends.” John 15:13
“24Then Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. 25For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:24-26
“32Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father in heaven. 33But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father in heaven. 34Do not assume that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Matthew 10:32-34
In this present extremely technological age, a very secular materialistic self-centered global culture the occasion of a person absolutely willing to give up his own life so he could allow others to live is even more rare today; but it happens. Back in the day I was told by some World War II Veterans; that acts of courage and complete sacrifice happened as they personally witnessed some soldiers singlehandedly run straight into a machine gun nest and toss a grenade into the encampment to neutralize the enemy that had been wiping out many soldiers as they were attempting to take the hill or high ground; but in the process this selfless duty bound soldier did what needed to be done, saving many of his fellow soldiers and advanced the goal of overtaking the enemy in order to win the battle and eventually end the war!
“My kind of people,” the real heroes who are the complete opposite of the bottom feeding parasites who occupy Washington and many places throughout who are the oligarchy elitists!
God bless them all! Amen.
“A dying breed, today these people are lazy; yes also arrogant and selfish.”
This past Wednesday I was at a retail shopping plaza where two major retail stores are located. I parked my vehicle in the parking lot in front of the store where I needed to buy the items. When I was finished I had just put my supplies in the vehicle and thought I actually do need to shop in the other store, but decided I don’t need to drive my vehicle through the large parking areas to get closer to that store, because I have two legs and I’m fully capable of doing the little hike over to the other store.
After shopping there I walked out with the shopping carriage and walked to the other parking lot and unloaded those items, and because the shopping carriage was the property of the store I just purchased those items from I thought that it wouldn’t be right to leave their shopping carriage in another retail outlets parking lot. So I wanted to take the hike through the parking lots to the front of the store and put that carriage in the area where it belongs. As I got there I suddenly saw another man coming around from behind some parked cars and trucks with a shopping carriage and he looked me straight in the eyes and said, “we’re a dying breed,” to which I replied yes that’s true people have changed, when he then said, “they’re lazy,” and I then added, very arrogant and selfish too.
I think God intended on that encounter to happen as a Godsend and it was a direct recognition of what I had been thinking about that day and much of the week, about how people have changed so much for the worse, in this present time. I thought how I’ve seen a drastic radical change in just the years since I was a boy to now, where things have grown progressively very sad and cold, very vicious; and how people like frightened animals are getting more nasty with each other while self-preservation is ruling their thinking as well as their hearts too much; making the old adage, “it’s a dog eat dog world,” very true. But this whole experience did fit what I had been contemplating writing in this latest essay, and served as an encouragement!
Now we come to what’s to me a very profoundly important conversation I had with a really good guy that works for the government locally who has an equally good wife and teenage children; a wonderful family! He and I would have lengthy conversations during the most harrowing time period in my life when it seemed for all intent and purposes that I had been fighting a long battle on my own because the system and most people are too jaded, corrupted or very heartless toward even a person who has been wronged and severely damaged both physically and emotionally primarily for speaking truth and taking a stand opposing the corruption; to only bring positive change. Then as this new found ally had put it, “it’s like you’re being tested by fire.”
Purpose and Sacrifice
What did Jesus say; that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for another? Sacrifice, isn’t this the ultimate duty of all who wish to do God’s will in this short life or temporary existence on earth? If we are to imitate Christ during our trials and tribulations here, should we do less, than to give up what is most precious to each of us, to freely give in to that, means to an end? To make an offering of our own selves out of love and compassion for others, so that in doing this we provide an opportunity for those who receive our ultimate sacrifice, to learn and grow in their own understanding and appreciation by our example, of what this life here is really all about, so that they who are and become more enlightened can know and fully appreciate the love that God has for each of us.
During a special conversation I had with this new friend I spoke about “The Thin Red Line,” and how I recognized that Jim Caviezel played the part of a Christ like figure named Witt; when he told the two younger recruits with him to go on ahead without him, to make their escape down the river, while he will distract the attention of the enemy, the Japanese soldiers, in order that these two innocent victims of circumstance, (they were unfairly assigned such a dangerous mission), can make their escape to safety. But, more importantly they will learn about selfless compassionate love, what it really means; to love one another also as I have loved you. This kind of act is obviously a moment of awakening, revelation and even rebirth. In that moment of self-actualization, those two young recruits were given the gift of continued life here in this physical plane of existence by another giving up his own precious life and blood, so that, more importantly they might go on to learn that it is not this life that is most important but rather, the Life to Come, and that what we all should recognize is that the belief of an eternal life to come is more real and precious than this temporary one could ever be. This life is like the mere flickering of a flame in its delicate balance between light and darkness, as it dances for a short while, only to be extinguished any moment without warning or recourse into oblivion. Not even a memory of the beautiful flickering flame of light would exist if not for the Power and Glory of God. Only through God’s Majesty and Glory can the inner meaning of pure never ending love be found or can our lives be of any real value, for without “eternal love” there can be no “purpose” or significance to anything we perceive and experience here in the flesh. “It’s only love that makes all of us greater than the sum total of these chemical and biological earthly forms,” and, it was the greatest love that began or sent forth this journey through time and space, in order that we may all be part of that “Glorious One’s Eternal Kingdom.” For now we are all mere babes in the woods seeking and only trying to find our way home, but, “having to learn that without love there is no way home” and more poignantly that “there is no home at all without absolute true love.” Only God can give and only God can take away, that which was given so freely and with absolute perfection. Yes, we all do ourselves, and, more importantly others, more good by laying down that which does not really belong to us, but, rather to God the Creator of all things. To know God and Love God with all of our being should be our main purpose as we journey forth always seeking to do God’s will.
As this scene in the story progresses to Witt being shot, it’s like he is suddenly seeing his life flash before him as I see it; but the place his soul is immediately experiencing on his way to heaven is seen as the time he had spent with the island children swimming under the ocean surf, so free and oblivious; quite carefree! Which to me is reminiscent of being born, going back to that most beautiful precious time any of us have experienced in our short lives; when completely innocent in our mother’s womb! Being in that tiny secure ocean of love and life so intimately connected and protected; insulated from the worries of the world, which once we came into it we immediately have to cry; and will many times to come!
Witt had a mission to take those two, wet behind the ears, fresh recruits sent on a dangerous mission that would surely get them all killed once surrounded by the enemy forces up the river; but Witt foreseeing just how potentially hopeless and fatal this mission was even for experienced soldiers, offered at the last second to accompany them! Once up the river heading into enemy fire and overwhelming numbers Witt decided that it wasn’t a fair assignment; especially not for those two young men! So he took it upon himself to give them the time they needed to get back to the platoon and safety while he distracted the enemy; drawing them away from the recruits but surely setting himself up for a fall! He laid down his life out of love for his friends!
There were variations on this theme, like when some WWII Army recruits were only 16 having fudged a document in order to meet the minimum age requirement to enlist and even made speedy progress to become battle hardened soldiers. One such soldier ended up in the thick of it being in some of the worst combat battles in the history of the war and singlehandedly fought off overwhelming enemy combatants in the battle field, saving many of his fellow soldiers! One such hero was a young man that joined the Army at 16 years of age who during the war rose to the rank of 2d Lieutenant and later after the war became a Hollywood movie star; Audie Murphy!
“He was one of the most decorated American combat soldiers of World War II. He received every military combat award for valor available from the U.S. Army, as well as French and Belgian awards for heroism.” Wikipedia
Watching this longer clip of the film “The Thin Red Line” gives a better sense of the heroic sacrifice that is required by some to fulfill a purpose that God ordains in His infinite wisdom by means of His will, to those he chooses to accomplish a given purpose which ultimately brings the intrinsic meaning or purpose to our lives in a multitude of situations; which is all centered on God’s eternal love, and there are many who do His will!
Who are we to question God or His ways and purposes! Didn’t He give up His only begotten Son our Savior Jesus Christ, to take away all the sins of the world; that all of us have and will commit! Sacrifice is crucial in all of our lives, at least on some level we should all be willing to sacrifice and give more than we receive!
Acts 20:35 “And I have shown you everything, that thus it is necessary to labor and to take care of those who are weak and to remember the words of our Lord Yeshua, who said, ‘He who gives is more blessed than he who receives.’”
Congressional Metal of Honor details- Audie Murphy click link
video clips and movie stills credit courtesy of:
Fox 2000 Pictures Geisler-Roberdeau Phoenix Pictures
Twentieth Century Fox (1998) (USA) video and stills credit.
A blessed Easter Sunday to you.
Brother in Christ Jesus,
Lawrence Morra III