This Saturday’s story goes back to 1996. I remember it because of 2 unforgettable things happened. For the first time in his 18 years of life, my son said, “Daddy you were right.” I had been trying to help him understand you could work hard or you could work smart. I was right; he said it and even if he doesn’t remember that moment, I always will. The other thing that happened that led to that utterance of Matthew was when he graduated Basic Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Here’s the story.
KEEPING WITH THE CADENCE
When my son Matthew graduated from the Army’s Basic Training, I made the trip to Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri to see his great accomplishment. One of the many images that was engraved on my mind was the way they walked as a unit. Each member, each soldier was in step with the other. Their lines were sharp and crisp because only ONE was calling the cadence. Their Drill Sergeant was the only voice heard. Their ears were in tune with only their Drill Sergeant.
I don’t remember the exact cadences they used. I remember some of them were…well it was 1996 before political correctness was fully operational…some couldn’t be repeated. But I do remember part of one of those cadences. It was something like this: “My buddy’s in a foxhole, a bullet in his head. The medic says he is wounded, but I know that he is dead.”
Then their Drill Sargent would start a new cadence call; and they never missed a step. And not far away you could hear other Drill Sergeants calling cadence, but their platoon did not heed the other voices, only the voice of one kept their focus and attention. They were not distracted by any other voices. It was impressive, to say the least. Many cadences, many voices–but he and his platoon were in tune to only one voice. And they moved as if they were one person.
MORAL OF THE STORY
We need someone to call cadence for us. But not just anyone–The ONE who is been given that responsibility–for us as individuals and us collectively as the Body of Christ. That’s Jesus. And He does give us the cadence call through the Holy Spirit. It’s like Paul wrote in Galatians 5:26–
If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.
In real life, there are a lot of things that demand our attention: family, jobs, appointments, and activities. It is easy to find ourselves frustrated or disappointed at the end of the day because of the busyness with which we are seemingly perpetually engaged in. And this is where the stress comes in and often overwhelms us.
I’m glad Jesus taught us to pray saying “Our Father” rather than “Our Drill Sergeant.” So, if you find yourself out of step and full of stress, remember my lesson. Let God lead the parade called life. Listen to His voice as He calls out the cadence. Life flows much better when we cooperate with God, much like that platoon that followed only one Drill Sergeant’s cadence.