Disclaimer: I’m not trying to detract from those who have served the United States in the military during a war, so please don’t think that I don’t appreciate what they have offered and sacrificed.
I’ve recently been confronted over and over with the knowledge of just how patriotic I am. It runs deep in me. I bleed the colors of my allegiance.
I will be the first to admit that I am American, by birth. I will also be the first to admit that I love traveling the globe and meeting people around the world. I crave learning and being around other cultures (those within my country and those without). The summertime is chock-full of holidays in the US to celebrate this great nation. Festivals, concerts, etc are scattered throughout the season and peppered with the cheese-ball post-9/11 American music and red, white and blue waving from the corners of every tent.
This is not what I mean though. I went to the Butler County Fair a couple of weeks ago, and it was everywhere. I went to the remote-control air show at the Butler County Regional Airport this Sunday (I know…feel free to judge my nerdiness, but I had a great time with good company!) and it was everywhere as well. What gets to me is when they ask for the Veterans to stand up. I love it. I may not have served in the US armed forces, but the honor of having gone somewhere and served your country, on the front lines, or even just in small side-skirmishes – it’s inspiring.
Something inside of me wants to stand up too when they make that call. I’ve not been in battle or brandished arms, but I have been a soldier in the Lord’s army. My allegiance is with God. He’s my portion, my captain, my commander. I have been in the reserves – at home, going about business, waiting for the call to take up and go – and have had to leave everything to go serve Him. I have been on the frontlines of spiritual battles. I have been in the small side-skirmishes. I’ve also been on the relief team and covered others in prayer who were on the field.
But, just because I am home now, does that mean I am retired? Can I consider myself a veteran just yet? I’m not sure how the military handles things. Is it that once you’ve been in active duty then you can be considered a veteran? Or do you have to serve a full active duty term until you are discharged or are too injured to continue?
The truth of it is that my heart aligns so much more with my God than with my country. I have a sort of apathy that I’m not fully proud of concerning being an American. But this is not just national apathy. It’s also global. I may not truly feel like this country is my original home, but I neither feel like any other country is my home. This is my place of residence, and when I am living in a country, I abide by their laws because that is what Jesus said to do. But it doesn’t make it my home. It’s where I live.
And I am so thankful for that. And with this proclamation, I’m asking all you veterans for the kingdom of God to stand up and be acknowledged. Those of you in active duty (which, I guess, would be all of us!), stand as well and be honored. We fight in a glorious battle against the evil one, and it’s already won.
(Not sure how much this post makes sense, but it’s what I woke up with on my mind this morning.)