After Jesus’ resurrection, he gave his Jewish disciples a cross-cultural, missional mandate that is commonly called the Great Commission. This command is for every follower of Jesus. (Gray, Derwin. “How To Heal Our Racial Divide” pg 80)
Day 127 of Russia’s War on Ukraine. As America draws deeper into a social, political divide; Ukraine, a country united by war, desperately continues to battle their much bigger aggressor. America has quickly lost interest in the ongoing war in Eastern Europe. The devil has done well in distracting us and continuing to pit America against one another. But before we dive into the most divisive topic of the hour, I have something a little more positive to share with y’all today.
This is a short week of work for me, and I have not picked up any extra jobs (yet). I am closing out my month of mayhem where I worked every day except two. I used to work crazy schedules like this for a grocery chain, so it’s nothing new to me, and looking at my upcoming drill schedule for the Georgia National Guard, I am going to be working even more months of no days off in the final quarter of this year. But anyway, I hope to get on here at least four days this week. There has been a lot going on in America, and for what it is worth, I have something to say about it.
This last weekend I had drill and our company had our annual medical readiness check-ups. The Georgia Army National Guard (GAARNG) has done an amazing job of streamlining the process and establishing a medical headquarters at Fort Stewart. During the month of June, to my knowledge, every company in the state marched their service members through to get everyone “green” on their medical readiness. In years past, this process would be at least a two day event that was a cluttered mess, but with the right leadership, the GAARNG has revolutionized the medical process for the state. Our entire company was done with our annual medical process before noon. I heard one of our newest non-commissioned officers marvel at the efficiency. He stated that he had never been through an “SRP” (Soldier Readiness Program) in less than two days, let alone in a few hours. From this exercise I learned two important lessons.
The first lesson is to not be afraid to rock the boat, especially if you can bring forth greater change. Too many times, we just do what’s working, hence the old adage: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Well, sometimes, something might not be “broken” but there may be a better way of accomplishing the same task: a more efficient, more practical, more purposeful way of accomplishing the same end goal. If you are in a position where you can make something run much smoother and better for everyone involved, do not be afraid to push for change. That is what happened with the GAARNG’s medical readiness program and for the last two years, I have heard nothing but praises for the soldiers and leaders involved. The medics are happier dealing with the soldiers, the soldiers are happier moving through the process. It has been a victory for all involved.
The second lesson I learned from this event was to look up. While our day was extremely short, there were still moments of sitting in lines for extended periods of time. Most of the soldiers had their phones out and were buried into whatever it was they were scrolling through. I was trying to stay off my phone, as I was engaging in conversation with that new NCO I had mentioned earlier. He had not been on his phone all day. By not being buried in some separate distraction, he noticed another NCO he had served with in a different company. They came over and began a great conversation with one another. The bond that is formed between warriors battling enemies in distant countries is remarkable and these two men instantly caught up with where all their fellow “battle-buddies” had landed since their last deployment together.
I marveled at the moment and thought to myself, if this guy had his face buried in his phone, he would have missed this chance encounter with an old friend. And that made me consider how much life we are all missing out on with our faces buried in our phones, tablets, even for those reading this blog. We have developed an addiction, and false belief, that our phones are our lifeline into living; into seeing what all our friends and family are up to. But, in reality, we are really missing out on the life that is happening around us by not looking up. When you are out, even in the most mundane moments in life, do not keep your nose buried in your phone, but look up and enjoy the beautiful world around you. And if you continue to look up, you’ll be looking toward the heavens, where our hope and strength comes from.
So as we move forward in this divisive time, I ask that you remember the Great Commission given to you by Jesus Christ: the command to go out and make disciples of ALL Nations. While in the last two thousand years, the name, love, grace, and salvation of Jesus Christ has spread around the globe, in the last fifty years, in this great country of America, we have been losing the battle of discipleship. So let’s refocus on making a lasting revival within this country. Look up at the world around you, at this broken country and find new, innovative ways on bringing the true message of Jesus Christ to this land: the message to Love God and Love ALL People. As disciples of Christ, we have a job to do to fix this broken country that our past generations have failed greatly. America has been seeing more and more people walk away from religion, from believing in God, and a large part of that is we have just followed a inefficient religious formula that continues to push more people away than to bring people to Christ. It’s time to look back toward God for guidance, to find a new way to bring revival to this country. It is time for us to do the work Jesus commanded for us to do thousands of years ago. We can move mountains, but we have to put in work. If we wait for the mountains to move themselves, it will be too late for this generation.