As a former military man (Army, 11 Bravo, 25th Infantry Division) I am accustomed to and familiar with military operations and language. So when people start throwing out analogies to war with their Christian walk I’m left wondering if they really know what the “cost” is. Often I’m left wondering if I know what the real cost is. I’ve never been in an actually war, conflict, or skirmish. The closest that I could get was in simulations of war. Lots and lots of simulations.

My drill sergeants were seasoned, decorated, veterans. They had tasted the battle, they saw first hand what the front lines were like. One of my drill sergeants, a mountain of man, often said “Gentleman, I have seen war first hand, I’ve looked into the eyes of men dying in the field, nothing we do can prepare you for that. But you, if your time should come, remember your training and do what you know”

We did a lot of simulations. This tactic, that tactic, and yet some more tactics. Drill, Drill, Drill. It really became instinctive, like breathing. On our last week of basic training we do a little exercise called “Field Training Exercise” or FTX for short. It is a week of all out battle with other platoons. Each platoon is given an opportunity to defend and attack a perimeter. It is imperative that during this training each man does his specific task otherwise the whole platoon would be in jeopardy.

On our second night of FTX we were being attacked from our south perimeter, it was a heavy fire fight that lasted for about 2 hours. Being on the north perimeter my task, as was the task of everyone that was “dug” in, was to defend the north perimeter regardless of what was happening anywhere else on the perimeter. Otherwise we would become vulnerable from multiple positions.

Throughout our training there were several guys, who being former R.O.T.C., felt the need to always prove themselves worthy and share how much they knew and how valuable they were. Unfortunately they weren’t well received by the others in the platoon. In fact they were shunned. Not because they were “know it alls” but because they had a unique way of making the rest of us feel like crap and getting us “dropped” (dropped= a tool drill sergeants have to make you do push-ups, flutter kicks, paratroopers, down-ups, or front leaning position until your arms fall off. Usually used when some R.O.T.C. guy corrects the drill sergeant) all the time. As misfortune would have it, for FTX, my “hole buddy” and I were “dug” in with both of these guys at our 11.

About 30 minutes into the firefight my R.O.T.C. friends decide that they’re going to leave their position and make the 1/2 mile trek across the perimeter to assist on the south side fire fight. Which in turn leaves a gaping hole in our perimeter. Within a matter of an hour or so our whole platoon is over run because we had been flanked to the north and could not defend our position. Everyone in our simulation died. Except for the two R.O.T.C. guys who were found in the middle of the perimeter sitting back to back with their weapons at the ready.

On night four of our FTX the same scenario happened, attacked to the south but “dug” in on the north. Immediately one of our R.O.T.C. friends gets out of his hole and starts to head to the south. Almost simultaneously; me, my “hole” buddy, and the other R.O.T.C. guy take aim and shoot our wandering friend. Dismayed he asks “Why would you shoot someone from your own platoon” to which my “hole” buddy responds “Your better to us dead than alive. Your a liability and I would rather have you die and save the whole platoon than the other way around.” We won our “battle” that night. Maybe it was the experience from before that helped or maybe it was because we chose to do what was in the best interest of everybody in our platoon. Certainly the possibility exists that it was multiple reasons.

So what does this mean for us? Can I suggest that when it comes to the spiritual battle that we are all in; we as Christians need to stay in our “positions” and trust that those on the other side of the perimeter will put into action that which they were trained to do. Otherwise you may get shot at from people who are supposed to be on your side. All because you’ve become a liability and are more harmful than helpful to the cause.

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This entry was posted on Friday, August 22nd, 2008 at 9:33 am and is filed under Christian Living, Commentary, Devotional, In Tone and Character. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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2 Comments(+Add)

1   Chris P.    
August 22nd, 2008 at 9:39 am

So are you saying this blog(bloggers) is/are a liability?

Very few understand the battle we are in.

2   Chris
August 22nd, 2008 at 10:43 am

Quite honestly Chris I’ve continually wrestled with the profitability of this type of blogging.

It seems that a lot of effort is put into posts and responses about other posts and responses. To what gain? Ultimately I will stand before Christ and have to give an account for my life and I wonder what opportunities have been wasted because of my keyboard and internet connection?

A challenge to me and a reminder that sometimes I am a liability to the body and I shouldn’t be surprised if I get shot at by friendly fire.