Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Why do they sacrifice?

Over thirty years ago, we toured together as singers in a college choir. Now reunited, we talked of a new common passion, distance running. Each of us had run a marathon; he's faster than I am. We both have learned that age and injuries may slow us, but we will reach the finish line if we maintain focus on the goal. He's nearly ready for another 26.2 mile adventure; I'm still a few months away. Self-discipline and a clearly defined objective will see us through.
However, we had not come together to discuss recreational running. He and his wife had come to my post to visit a memorial to their son-in-law, who died serving our country. We met his brother at the site. The tree that honors their loved one does not stand alone. Many other such trees line three long sidewalks. Many men and women, most (but not all) quite young, perished while trying to bring hope to another part of the world. They gave up other goals, and ultimately, their lives. I knew several of them personally. You may not approve of the military profession, nor of the wars in which they died, but I ask you to honor their willingness to sacrifice themselves for others. Achieving that mindset required a change of worldview for some of them; others came from a lineage of soldiers or public servants. Societies and nations survive because of people like them who will leave safe homes to protect others. As with running, the military lifestyle requires self-discipline and hard work to "get it right." They did that.
What would (or does) motivate you to sacrifice? If you don't know, ponder why runners run 26.2 miles and then want to do it again, why soldiers with comfortable homes and beloved families will leave them to go to very dangerous places and then do it again, why parents will stay up for a child to come home. If this is not your experience, and if perhaps you do not understand it, pick up a Bible and turn to the New Testament book of Hebrews. Read the twelfth chapter all the way through. Perhaps then you will find your goal.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

What motivates me to sacrifice is ultimately for the glory of God. If that's not the central focus, then the sacrifice will seem for nothing in my life. (Because Christ IS my life - Col 3) Then, too, my own life is better for sacrificing. At this point in my life, I'm learning to sacrifice food - some may call it fasting - but really, it's daily fasting. I can't imagine Jesus fasting 40 days without fasting all along through His life before that fast.

In a Bible class or sermon I learned that something is no longer a sacrifice if it becomes a habit. It may be a sacrifice, for example to come to worship every Sunday morning. If it no longer hurts a little to do that, then it might be a sacrifice for that person to attend all the services.

I'm cutting 'way back on my eating - with the "fast-five" fasting plan.(http://www.fast-5.com, to give credit) It's a sacrifice for me right now, and all to the glory of God. I can serve God and His creation better if I'm healthier and thinner.