Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Hope Lives (Friday)

I was running at a good pace.  My breathing had settled and as I looked at my watch, this would be one of my all-time best times.  There was no one around me.  Digging deeper I push on ahead trying to catch the cross country runner in first place and the chain smoker not far behind him in second place.

Less than a mile to go and I can see to the top of the road and the finish line.  I pick up my pace and so do the two in front of me.  Now realizing I have no chance of catching either one I settle for third place, again.  Significant achievement.  With the last vestiges of will power i plow through the finish line with a personal time of 20:45 in the three minute mile.  

Marine corps boot camp can be intense to say the least.  But the hardest part is the running.  
LOTS OF RUNNING.  LOTS AND LOTS OF RUNNING.

In the beginning I was a scared little runt from Chicago.  Now, three months later I am a well conditioned human being.  My life has changed so much.  I have met people from all corners of the globe.  We sweated together, trained together, fought together and in the end became brothers.  Marine Corps boot camp is not for the faint of heart.  You are constantly being pushed to your limit only to find out that we can do and give more if the need arose.  This was my first time being away from home.  Away from my family.  Away from my friends.  It was indeed a culture shock.  

However, as the days and weeks went by, I was closer to my goal of becoming one of 
THE FEW, THE PROUD, THE MARINES.  
Me likes the sound of that.  For years it was all that I wanted, to be a Marine.  And now I am.

For that goal to come about, I had to commit myself to doing it.  I had to endure physical and mental pain that I never knew was possible.  My mind and body was transformed and I had to become one with the other men around me reaching for the same goal.  There are no individuals in the USMC.  it is not possible to exist that way.  We all depend on one another and our lives are in each other's hands.  

The body of Christ is that way also.  We are one part of One body, have One mind and One Spirit.
If the goal of saving the lost if not OUR GOAL, as it is the will of God, then we are fighting a losing battle.  
First Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

That living hope is what sustains us in good times and difficult times.  We must always look to the end goal of heaven and being with the ONE who made it possible.  
Without hope I and so many others would have never made it through boot camp.  Many times we talked to one another and wanted to give up.  I was more than we could bare.  But, looking to the end of all this enduring, we saw ourselves wearing the colors of the United States Marines.

Let your hope be in Jesus.  His reward is far more precious and never perishes.  

God bless.