I am always amazed at the character of these heroes who hunt with us. The Staurolite foundation has had more than 20 of these American heroes hunt with us, not counting the first hunt before there was a Staurolite foundation. Every one of these men have one thing in common. Even though they have been wounded, some with permanent disabilities, each and every one say they would do it again. I wonder how many of us – if faced with knowing before we started – would be willing to sacrifice an arm, a leg, both legs, emotional stability, or even balance and fatigue issues caused by a traumatic brain injury. Sacrifice – something most folks do not even begin to understand today.
Today sacrifice means having weak internet, or maybe questionable phone service, or heaven forbid not being able to use your phone. Sacrifice – where would we be without the sacrifice of men and women in service to this country? Or more importantly, where would we be without the sacrifice of Jesus giving His life for us on the cross at Calvary.
I am always amazed at men and women who dedicate their life to service. Many say their purpose is service over self. Many live out this service over self. However, there are a few who serve for self. I have yet to meet one of these wounded heroes who served for self. Most, if not all, will say they entered military service from a motivation which was personal, something like college tuition or to take care of family. However, I have not met any who stayed with it for personal reasons. They each and every one stayed for a purpose greater than themselves.
These men see themselves as the protector of freedom for us and the giver of freedom to those less fortunate. Or they play the role of peace keeper and peace is only truly given through someone sacrificing their own comfort to fight off oppression.
Many of these men struggle with a concern that they will not be received well at the pearly gates because of their involvement in killing many. I hope you and I will help them understand the principle of Matthew chapter 5 – that my anger with someone is no different in the eyes of God than killing someone. Unfortunately, there are many innocent deaths in war. Somehow it would be much easier for me, and I believe is for most of these heroes, to take the life of an armed combatant. But taking an innocent life is a burden they carry and have difficulty putting down.
Let me ask and encourage you to pray for these men and women. Pray that they will have a good understanding of grace, God’s grace for them. Pray that they will have the wisdom to understand they are as welcome in heaven as you or I who have not killed anyone, but have anger issues, overeat, lust after things or people, pick your own issue.
And let me encourage you to serve for the right purposes – the purpose of serving the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God in this reference is whatever Good deeds He has planned for you as is written in Ephesians 2:10, not what some guy who fills the pulpit on Sunday says.
As for me and my house, well, I say a heartfelt thank you to these men and women who have truly sacrificed so much so that I can sit in the mountains this morning, see the beautiful aspen leaves turning, and recall fond memories of my time hunting elk with them.
the Staurolite foundation
But let me say this, dear brothers and sisters: The time that remains is very short. So from now on, those with wives should not focus only on their marriage. 30 Those who weep or rejoice or who buy things should not be absorbed by their weeping or their joy or their possessions. 31 Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them. For this world as we know it will soon pass away. 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Seek the kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need. Luke 12:31
Cowboy Logic: “Going to church makes you a Christian about as much as sitting in a hen house makes you a chicken.”
Mid-day prairie dog shooting between hunts