Looking Back..Taking Stock

Last May I had a conversation with one of my young guys...Dusitn (pictured 2nd from the left along with King, Lyons, Clemency and me) outside in the 130 degree heat of the Kuwaiti desert about fear and life and Jesus. Dustin was really worried about the area that he was going to work in, he's 20 years old, his whole life ahead of him. Its not uncommon for a young mad to ponder the bigger things in life as he faces a great and unknown challenge. That day Dusitn and I said some words to Jesus and we prayed that God would protect him. Dustin said some new words to Jesus too, receiving life from the Lifegiver. It was a day that I won't soon forget. Well, today Dustin and I are fast approaching another great day and in a few short weeks we'll be back in the place we call home. His team came in from a post way out in the weeds and in the desert. He's been up there running missions outside the wire on a daily basis with his buds. We are all now gathered at a larger base doing redeployment prep. Dustin and I just got through with a conversation about life from here, school, girlfriends, wives and plans down the road. We are going to have some good time over the next week or so. We broke contact to take care of some things a few minutes ago and as he walked up the street I hollered at him, "Hey Dustin, you remember that conversation we had down in Kuwait about being scared?!"
He answered, "Yes sir, I do!" He smiled real big and so did I. He and I shared a moment together with Jesus that no one can ever take away from us. And we got to relive that memory again after a 10 months of heat, work, trials, late nights, helicopter missions, frustration, missing home so bad you can taste it, sweat, pain, laughter, joy, and memorial services. It was as good today as it was back in May of 09. God was faithful even when we forgot about Him, He did not forget about us and He was there even in the silly and mundane stuff. Dustin looks different now, he's stronger, more confident and I doubt there is anything that he can't do. What a privilege to be a part if his life. A few years ago I was gung ho about being a full time itinerant speaker or working on staff at some huge Mega-lo-mart church that was really moving and shaking. The lure of the limelight, the name dropping, the conferences, the notoriety was intoxicating or even doing something "great for God". The problem I have is, how do your define what doing something "great for God" is. I have dear friends who do this that are not in it for the wrong reasons, but don't get me wrong it can be a death trap for sure and it would have been for me. I traded that life for this one. I'm not famous and that is ok, in fact I kind of like being a nobody. Otherwise I wouldn't have had that moment that I just had with Dustin. Now that is great and that is for God!

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