A-Line-In-The-Sand1

This morning we are going to hit up the second part of this blog’s pick a fight series.  Check out part 1 if you have not read it yet.  However, quick summary is that life often calls for a fight.  That is a fight that has the real risk of loss and failure.  Always doing what you know will work can mitigate the risk for failure while simultaneously eliminating the possibility for breakthrough.  Paintball is a good example.  There are thousands of paintball heroes around the country who fearlessly leap and bound from cover to cover in pursuit of the win.  What do they risk?  A potentially unsightly welt.  Well take in from me, when you hear the snap and crack of an actual bullet whizzing past your head, you get a little less Call of Duty and a little more tactically proficient.  But come through that experience, and you never forget it.  So while I am not saying everyone needs to go to combat, I am saying people need to be intentional and pick a fight with their aversion to fear and failure.  Again, go read the last post for full details.

So for this morning post, I wanted to give you all something to chew over throughout your day.  I wrote a post last week about A Case for Veteran Purpose.  This purpose presupposes that some things matter.  They matter to a degree in which you are going to decide to stand up and fight for it.  So this post is really about picking a fight by drawing a line in the sand that you know people might cross.  Children are hilariously adept at this.  Often for the wrong cause, but very good at drawing these lines.  I can distinctly remember from my childhood, kids putting a folder or something else rolled up on their shoulder during conflict telling the other kid, “I bet you won’t knock this off my shoulder.”  The line was drawn.  Knock this off my shoulder and a fight was likely to ensue.  I sometimes wonder if adults and nations don’t often fight with such a silly premise in mind.

However, this post is not about inviting conflict, but about identifying the things that truly matter for that moment when conflict comes.  This list should not be exhaustive and if you find your list looking like US tax code, then you have probably gone to far.  Rather, it should be the core beliefs in you as a being.  Keep in my, we are not talking about physically fighting someone per say.   I think one of my favorite verses of the bible is Joshua 24:15 “And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.  But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”  You after worshiping idols in Egypt, along the way, and probably someone right then when Joshua was speaking, Joshua was asking them to go ahead and make up their minds about it.  Either serve the Lord that brought them there or the god of the lands.  The last part of the verse is often quoted and hung up in houses as far as what Joshua decided he and his house would do.  However, what is often left off is the first part where Joshua was telling the people to basically go ahead and make up your minds about it.  Seriously, go ahead and decide whom you will serve.  I have no doubt what Joshua wanted the people to chose, but he was insistent that they “choose this day” whom they will serve.  What a lesson for us all.

So some self analysis is needed here.  What are the core aspects of being that matter to you most.  Where is your line in sand?  You may covet any items I have in my house all you want, but the moment you step foot in my house in the middle of the night to take said items, things will suddenly end poorly for you. A line has been drawn.  If children matter to you and some are homeless and abused, then you fight for their childhood.  Fight hard to grow your career, but at the moment it will cost you your integrity to do so, its best you have that line already drawn.  Now before all my political aficionados get too excited, you might want to wait until part 3 comes out.  But you can go ahead and draw you line around individual liberty or even that America is worth preserving.  But partisan politics might be a little more tax code than line in the sand.  But you will have to wait to hear that line of thought.  So I leave you with this,  find yourself and pick a fight by drawing a line in the sand in the areas that matter most to you.  For when barbarians are knocking at the door is a little to late to start having the debate about what’s important.