Watching the Battle from the Stands

Sunday night, I watched a news segment
about a young veteran who lost his way
when he came home.
He survived his tours against the enemy overseas only to end his own life on American soil.
The enemy, he was prepared to handle.
What did him in was reintegration
to civilian life.
In trying to explain his anguish, he referred to the modern slogan,
“It’s like we went to war but America went to the mall.”
It can feel like that in the church,
don’t you think?
As if some Christians are engaged in battle
while others watch from stadium seats
sheltered from the elements, the danger, and the pain,
immune to the sacrifice, the work, and the risk
complaining about the quality of the hotdogs and the temperature of the beer
while the blood of their brothers and sisters
seeps into the dirt on the field.
And sometimes in the mirror, I see a soldier
and sometimes I see a spectator.
What I want is to always be standing on the field.
Sometimes, I creep back into the stands.
But, I am spurred on.
Because when the trumpet sounds and He reappears
astride His steed, armed for the final battle
I don’t want to be caught with my fists full of peanuts and corndogs.
Instead, let me be fully engaged
with the enemy,
utilizing every weapon at my disposal,
nearly blinded with the sweat and blood of my spent energy,
so involved in the conflict
I cannot turn my head to gaze at Him full on
but feeling the tide of war shift as He appears,
renewed and reenergized, knowing the end is imminent,
and that soon there will be a feast at the table of the King
where I will raise my glass and break bread face-to-face with
 my commander, my brother, my savior, my Lord.
Jesus, it’s unimaginably hard to be on the field
but You didn’t spectate from the box seats of Heaven
You entered the fray, you purchased our victory with your own life,
make us strong enough now to stand beside You on the bloody ground.
 Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.” 2 Timothy 2:3-4
How about you?
A seat in the stands
or a stand on the field?
Are you in the battle
or at the mall?

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1 Comment

    The Conversation

  1. Anonymous says:

    Every day I see signs of spiritual warfare and I pray. But so often people think I’m nuts when I mention the battle, when I say outloud that Satan is attacking–our young people, our families, our church. But as I dress each morning, I try to remember to put on the “whole armor of God”. Standing on the battle field doesn’t mean you have to be in Afghanistan. The battle is here and you have it right; we must stand. When we prepare our people for battle, we remember to give them guns, bombs, fatigues, humvees. We are forgetting to give them the hope that is built on Jesus Christ. When they return from the foreign battle ground, they are hopeless on this one. God forgive us.