Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Yes, For Such As This

            Men and women join the Marine Corps for many reasons.  Not being female I will not speak for the ladies, but young men often join either hoping the Marine Corps will make a man of them, or because they believe it is the manly thing to do.  And of course, there is a bit of patriotism mixed in there, too.  Along the way the desire to be the man they eventually realize they are becomes less important, and patriotism begins to play a much bigger role in our lives.
            As we grow older, speaking just for myself now, the ideals we fought for, and the high price of the lives who paid for protecting those ideals comes back to me more and more.  I, like you probably, know by name many of those who paid the price to ensure you and I are still here today.  And it becomes more and more important to us to support and protect those original ideals of what freedom, individual liberty, and this nation are all about.
            After all, we fought for those ideals, those freedoms, and we know the names of those who not here to enjoy the freedoms they paid dearly for.  So when we see corruption, on a local or national scale, when we see the law being twisted to favor this one and impinge on the freedoms of that one, we are not pleased.  Let’s face it, we are a very diverse people, coming from many different backgrounds, seeking many different things.  Even when we wore the Marine Corps uniform, we didn’t get along with everyone.  We had their back, and they had ours, but that didn’t mean we liked all of them.  We were brothers.
            So now later we must admit to ourselves and others, we don’t like everything we see going on around us.  There is sadness, anger, frustration to be worked out among us.  But if we dwell on those things, we find only more sadness, anger, frustration. That is not where the answers lie.
            But as we might expect, our God knows where those answers lie.  We find a strong hint about that in Paul’s letter to the Philippians, chapter four, verse eight: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
            In a week when many of the things I see going wrong all about us seemed to climb on a tall pedestal and shout at me, suddenly out of the stinking fog that surrounded me came a reminder of Philippians 4:8.  It came in the form of a YouTube video, a fantastic combination of what using computers should be about, with the highest talents of individual strangers, and music.
            It’s actually been around for a while, so perhaps you’ve already seen it.  It is Eric Whitacre: A Virtual Choir 2,000 Voices Strong.
            As I watched this presentation of how it all came about, how it came together, and the final product, and then a preview of the next version to come, it occurred to me that of such is the human race intended, glorifying God with who and what they are, as individuals and in consonance.  Listen to what he has to say when he talks about "human beings will go to any lengths to connect...."
            Throughout the video, God was never mentioned, and yet it was the culmination of all the technical, creative, imaginative abilities with which He gifted us.
            It is for such beauty that we exist, not to glorify ourselves, not to get over on one another, not to merely exist, not to do violence to one another to impose our beliefs on others, not even to be the best or the brightest.
            Watch this when you have a chance, listen, notice what is happening.  Even as an experienced writer I find it difficult to pull together the right words to adequately describe how good and fulfilled I feel when I watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NENlXsW4pM 
            May God richly bless them, even as their shared efforts have blessed us.

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