The Disciplined Soldier
“Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in the concerns of civilian life; he seeks to please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. 5 Also, if anyone competes as an athlete, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6 The hardworking farmer ought to be the first to get a share of the crops”.( 2 Tim. 2:3-6) HCSB
Paul uses three examples: a Soldier, an athlete and a farmer…today, since it is Memorial Day weekend, let’s focus on the soldier.
A good example of an effective soldier is found at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington, VA.
- have to have a good military record
- have to agree to many conditions:
- physically he has to be between 5’10” and 6’2”
- waist size 30” or less
- must commit two years of their life to guard the tomb
- while serving, they live in barracks under the tomb
- they cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives
- they cannot use profanity in public for the rest of their lives
- they cannot disgrace the uniform or the tomb in any way (like by getting in fights)
- The uniform has no wrinkles, folds or lint. It takes FIVE HOURS to prepare the uniform for 30 minutes of duty
- Guards dress in front of a full -length mirror
- The first six months of guard duty a guard cannot talk to anyone or watch television
- All off-duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people who are buried in the cemetery (incudes President Taft, boxer Joe E Louis, WW II vet Audie Murphy and President John F Kennedy)
- The names of all 175 must be memorized, as well as the location of their burial site.
- In 2003 a suggestion was made that the guards evacuate when Hurricane Isabelle hit., They responded, “No way, Sir!” They responded the same way during Snowmageddon in 2010.
- The guard is changed every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
- They have guarded the tomb this way since 1930.
- Let’s go back to 2 Timothy 2:3-4, “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in the concerns of civilian life; he seeks to please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.”
Just like the soldiers who guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, we need to be:
After two years of service, a guard is given a pin in the shape of a wreath, which is worn on the lapel. Only 400 are presently worn. The guard has to obey the rules of the guard for the rest of his life or give up the wreath pin.
I Corinthians 9:24-27 says,
24 “Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize. 25 Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. However, they do it to receive a crown that will fade away, but we a crown that will never fade away. 26 Therefore I do not run like one who runs aimlessly or box like one beating the air. 27 Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified”.
Run the race as a soldier of Christ: faithful, committed, disciplined, single-minded and prepared, because the prize for the believer is to hear “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”