Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Forever marked by this...

Sixty-five years ago there were men who fought in Word War II, many of them among the troops that stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day.
They are all old men now - well into their 80's - yet a beautiful story (click to see it) was told of one group in the June 1oth edition of the Daily Herald. You'll want to read this story for yourself and it's gotten me to thinking...

Whatever lives these men have lived for the last sixty-five years, they are forever marked by what they did when they were 18 - 20 years old. If they've lived lives of fame or infamy, all we see are those actions from a lifetime ago, when they were, especially in today's culture, just kids.

What marks us?
It's fascinating to reconnect with people through Facebook because it covers such a broad span of relationships - from childhood friends, to high school classmates, college buddies, old boyfriends/girlfriends, co-workers, relatives and all the way to current friends and colleagues. Most of my getting reacquainted conversations start with what I most remember about that person or the time period/events in which we knew each other. For most of my "friends" on Facebook they are still to me marked by who they were when I knew them then, no matter what they're doing now. There have been memories brought up of things I'd totally forgotten about revealing how I too am marked by who I was then and with them.

I was reading this morning in Philippians 3:12 where Paul is saying that "I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me" (NIV).

I think these two thoughts are connected. There is a reason Christ has taken hold of me; put me on this planet, calling me to be His own. There is a purpose to fulfill. There is something to accomplish for Him, and to be marked by for the entirety of my life. I know that part of that is to know Him because there are countless injunctions in the Bible to "seek me" but what is the rest of it?

I think of Bible characters - if I were to say David, what would you say? How about Joshua? Esther? Moses? Mary and Martha? Peter? Lydia? I'm guessing that we'd all have similar answers for there is one outstanding thing or event that we remember about their lives.

Back to the beaches of Normandy.

Did these boys have any idea that this would be the battle that would turn the tide of the war? That sixty-five years later they would stand at a ceremony in Wheaton honoring them and their fallen comrades? I'm going to guess "no". They were simply doing what they were supposed to do that day, following orders, not knowing they would be forever marked by that days actions.

Who is not to say that what we are doing today may be the thing that forever marks our lives? That today's opportunities are not what Christ has taken hold of us for...?

What do you think?

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