People say, “You take this Jesus thing too seriously.” Well I don’t know, but Christ took me pretty seriously when He died for me on that cross.
A friend of mine posted this to her Facebook status a while back. I thought it was amazing, so I thought about for a while, clicked “like” and moved on with my life. (As you do with Facebook.) Recently though, I have been thinking about death and sacrifice and it came back to me. This past Monday was Memorial Day; An American Holiday marked to remember the people who have died in military service. It was previously known as Decoration Day since it is observed by decorating the graves of fallen soldiers.
Memorial Day falls on the final Monday of May and so “Memorial Weekend” is considered the unofficial start of summer. Until this year, I never really knew exactly what Memorial Day was about. I first encountered the Holiday in 2012 when I moved to the U.S. I had just started a new job and this was my first official day off. It was also the first time that my apartment complex opened up the pool since I’d moved in. I quickly realized that it was the biggest party weekend of the year for most Kenyans living in the U.S. “We” all converge in Dallas from different states and cities around the county and have lake parties and barbecues in the afternoons, and then go “clubbing” in the evenings. I can picture someone who only knows the “party” side of Memorial Weekend asking the above question to someone who takes the holiday more seriously.
Ephesians 6:10-12 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.”
As I was thinking about what I would post on the blog regarding Memorial Day, this is the scripture that came to mind. I shared it on my social media and promised that I’d be writing a post about what it means to be a soldier in God’s Army. So I sat down at my desk ready to churn out this post about dedication, sacrifice and allegiance. I quickly realized that I had barely any context to write from. When it comes to being a soldier for Christ, I fall painfully short. I’m like a Kenyan in America on Memorial Day, sleeping off my hangover without realizing that this is a “celebration” of people who have literally given their lives for their country.
So, unfortunately, I will not be able to deliver on my promise. I cannot write about what it means to be a soldier in God’s Army because, even though I speak the language fluently, though I know each part of the “Armor of God” and what it symbolizes, though I have memorized numerous scriptures and can recite them in King James English, when it’s really counted, I have not been anything close to a true soldier.
There’s a song called “Ofisi” By Pitson that I really love. It’s a beautifully simple song talking about how he imagines things would be if God had an office on earth where we could make appointments to go see Him and have a meeting with Him. I’ll share a little bit of the bridge for context.
Nilidhania wokovu ni safari
Kuingia nikapata ni vita
Tunapigana na mapepo na nguvu za giza
Nimekuja ofisini nipate nguvu mpya
Like Pitson, I’ve always thought of Christianity as just a journey. Yes, I have known there would be “challenges”, but the Bible is very clear that we are actually at war. So, this is not a post about what it means to be a soldier in God’s army. This is a post about realizing that it’s time for me to enlist in the army.