“When a warrior fights not for himself, but for his brothers, when his most passionately sought goal is neither glory nor his own life's preservation, but to spend his substance for them, his comrades, not to abandon them, not to prove unworthy of them, then his heart truly has achieved contempt for death, and with that he transcends himself and his actions touch the sublime. That is why the true warrior cannot speak of battle save to his brothers who have been there with him. The truth is too holy, too sacred, for words." - Steven Pressfield I made a vow ten years ago. With new understanding of His love and my true identity, I knew something needed to change. I swore from that day that I would never walk alone again. That reality has changed everything. It hasn't been easy and has been very much opposed, but to fight the battle for other men and my own heart within a sacred fellowship has made all the difference.
The most stirring moment at every boot camp is to watch 50 men spread out across a camp...a battlefield...with journal in hand, ready to hear from their true Father, maybe for the first time in their lives. Just to know that they will hear the precious things a father has for his son...things they desperately need to know, but have long since quit believing could be true...stirs me like nothing else. It is the doorway to freedom.
For a man to hear the sweet whisper of a father's love and intentions, unfamiliar but resonating in some unknown way at the deepest part of a man...the level of the heart...What could be better than that?
- I stumbled around on my own.
- I clumsily tried to rope up with others.
- I almost lost hope on believing it was possible.
- And then...
Chance meeting became divine appointment. Divine appointment brought fellowship and shared missional heart. Communicated mission rallied others to the fight. What seemed circumstantial and effortless, I now know was God breathed and intended. It doesn't always meet my grandest expectations and is sometimes very hard, but it is worth every inconvenience and is a non-negotiable in my life.
When I think about journey, battles fought, and victories won, I can't think of it outside the context of a brotherhood.
I don't know that I could continue the journey.
I don't know if I would have the courage for the fight.
I know the victory wouldn't be so sweet.
I have a new vow. I will continue to fight for the hearts of other men 'til my last breath. I will answer the bell for the next round, flanked by men who know me, love me, and have the best of intentions for me. I will mourn the losses and celebrate the victories won, within a sacred fellowship. I am not alone and despite what my enemy whispers out of my wound, I will not be abandoned.
I cannot speak of battle save to my brothers who have been there with me. The truth is too holy, too sacred, for words.