There is a man on my mind. Well, there are several of them, a sort of band of brothers. If you close your eyes for a moment, you can picture their tired, blackened, but determined faces. Their hands are calloused, their feet blistered, their knuckles cracked open. They are heroes, all of them, giving up their right to selfish perspectives in pursuit of the mission fulfilled, a vision accomplished. A freedom achieved.
These soldiers, they love their commander. He is a good lion--he has earned their allegiance, their respect, their loyalty. He is the reason they believe any good, any valuable achievement, could come from this ugly, disheartening war. His square shoulders, his shrewd strategies, even the hard stare of his golden eyes--everything about their captain is magnetic and persuasive. Regardless of how many thousand bullets they face, the constant target of the enemy tyrant, when they fight with him they are strong, focused, and well nourished. The winds are favorable, even when change brings earthquakes and criticism flies like dung.
And you? You are nearly always on their mind.
This little band of heroes has shouldered a love for you that you do not understand. They have joined together in a fight that keeps them awake at night, strategic assemblies with their commander for ways to make your freedom complete. They know that when you wake up, you accessorize your clean clothes with your shackles. These kings, and their Guineveres, itch and chaff and bruise for you. Their hearts bleed for your freedom. They are lonely for your company. And they are vulnerable, because they are weak for your resources. Even these deadly heroes, with all their training and discipline, cannot do what you can do. Indeed, you were designed to fight with them. You were created to join them. You are so necessary that without you, this band will almost inevitably fail.
This morning, before you opened your eyes, before your subconscious become conscious, the grace of the Father brooded over you, like He did at the beginning of time, a thick Spirit upon the surface of potential. He hovered over you in travail, bringing forth a brand new thing. He can get closer to you in your sleep, draw Himself more intimately upon you when your mind is not in motion to get in the way...when your autopilot is not engaged. The Father was in birth, in labor, His entire self bent upon your spirit, creating something out of nothing. He sees into your very makeup, into your core, into the foundational elements of you. The parts that were made of dust.
He does this every night. Hoping one day you'll open your eyes and for the first time, you'll open your eyes.
I visited the camp of our heroes tonight and I have returned with tears running down my face. My heart is broken that so much work is being shouldered by so few. Have we become so accustomed to the theatre that we can watch the battle engage without a single sense of personal responsibility?
Where am I? And where are you?
I suppose I feel like a crier on the wall. How many of us are dangerously close to a collision with complete neutrality? How many of us hold up our careers as a talisman, our official statement that should easily explain our absence, when in fact, all it demonstrates is ignorance? We hide behind the duties of our children, neglecting our primary responsibility to set the example of a life that is disciplined and fulfilling. If it is indeed an excuse you need, any one will do. An excuse is merely the skin of a lie stuffed with a reason. If one is so busy that they cannot respond when their gifts--or hands--are needed, a shift in priorities is desperately needed. Each man controls his own schedule; he decides what he permits to consume his time.
There is a great need for the reanalysis of priorities. What, by your actions, truly is important to you? When did you last commit to something worthwhile? A wise man once told me that if you showed him your calendar and your checkbook, he would be able to tell you what was most important to you. If you say the kingdom is your first priority, then may I ask why other men are taking your fire? If you truly believed yourself to be the arm, the ear, the lungs, of the Body, then why have you not poured yourself completely into it? And if you do not know your function, why are you not consumed in the pursuit to find your post? Do you think you need rest? Then rest and rejoin the lines--don't just tune out. Do not trade a rested happiness for Glee.
No one intends to become delinquent. But we have a band of them among us. And its time to ask yourself--are you delinquent? Gondor calls for aid. And these aren't the movies. There is much at risk. Even silence is a deafening scream.
Regardless of your choice, I honor the band of brothers among us. I feel the Father's proud smile on them like warm sunshine and an afternoon nap. If you are one of them, a warrior, I bless you with brand new energy and strength. I am with you. I will fight with you. You can count on me.