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Monday, November 12, 2007

Victory & Sacrifice

So the other day I posted the blog written by Sgt. Eddie Jeffers, who was killed in Iraq last month. I thought it was noteworthy, but must confess that I didn't expect it to be as noteworthy in my own life. You see, I am reading through the book of Revelation in the Bible right now.

I'm noticing a Biblical truth. It's not specifically spelled out in the Bible anywhere that I know of. But there are many Biblical truth's which exist, you just have to see them through the context of what's written. An example would be that circumstances and feelings aren't usually truth. I learned that from the Bible years ago, but there's no specific Scripture reference I could take you to that says this. It is nonetheless true.

So what is this new truth I've discovered, found in the context of Scripture? It is this: There is no victory without sacrifice. Every example of true victory found in the Bible has a sacrifice. So with this new found truth, I was remembering what Sgt. Jeffers wrote, contrasting the war experience of those in Iraq and those in the U.S. We're all experiencing this war in our own way. But of course some of us are pretty far from making any real sacrifice. Do any of us then have a right to victory?

American history teaches us that other great wars, where our country was victorious beyond belief, had their sacrifices. I remember my parents talking about the era where the mass population of American people made sacrifices for the sake of the war. Women went to the factories. Diets changed. People were donating cars and equipment to be melted down for making war machinery. Americans were accepting lower investment returns to buy war bonds that financed the war. There was sacrifice. And there was victory.

What are we really sacrificing now? How many Americans have even been inconvenienced for the sake of the war? Not many of us. Oh sure, some families have lost loved ones. But they are still in the minority. The vast majority of us haven't really been all that impacted by this war. And even those of us who have, for the most part, have been impacted indirectly --- without having actually chosen to make a particular sacrifice of some kind.

Do we want to win this war? I read the other day that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have cost the American people an estimated $8,000 for every citizen. Of course most of that has been funded through the national debt (another noteworthy topic for blogging!). Would any of us be willing to pay extra income taxes to help satisfy that additional expense? Do we really want to win this war? How badly do we want to win? What costs are we personally willing pay in order to bring about that victory?

These are questions I personally can't answer. But they've got me thinking. What sacrifice can I make? How much is it worth to me? An even better, and closer to home, question exists in my mind too. Where else in my life am I (foolishly) expecting victory without having any tangible sacrifice? I'm embarrassed to say that there is an answer to that question.

There is no victory without sacrifice. What victories do you want in life? What sacrifices will you make to get them?

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