Posted by: sailingspirit | October 28, 2012

Lonely At The Top

Where I grew up, “the right thing” was usually what was done, so “the wrong thing” was the anomaly.  It was an obvious departure, it drew immediate notice, and it was usually swiftly corrected.  There was little need to fight for what was right.  Boy, do I miss that!  There are so many places now where wrong is so widespread and has so long been the norm, the knowledge of what is right is completely lost.  People are so deeply mired in corruption and deception, they honestly don’t have a clue, and what’s worse, they don’t even care to get one.

Like an old western film, the guys in the white hats have been losing much ground to the guys in black hats.  The tide must be turned, and our territory won back.  Not for the first time in history, we must not only defend what is right and good, but we must fight to re-establish it.  Is this overwhelming and exhausting?  Yes.  Unfair?  Yes.  Unpleasant?  Yes.  And often, standing up means standing alone; when this much corruption exists, leaders of true character who dig in their heels and stubbornly stay in for the long haul when the weaker ones bail, are left out on a limb and, sadly, often begin to question whether what they’re fighting for is even worth saving.  But, their hearts tell them they simply cannot live “that way,” so they’d rather die trying than cave in.  You can identify bravery and character by those who are left standing alone, but continue to stand.  And the greater the opposition that comes against them, the greater the hero they are destined to be.  For you see, Satan doesn’t bother to fight those he does not deem a threat to his schemes.  And at this point, sliding silently into sin is the easy thing to do.  Thus, the greater the uproar, the more certain proof we have that a battle is being fought and the one Satan roars against is, in fact, the hero fighting for right.  Satan does not give up territory easily or quietly, but with great drama and vengeance.  (Have you ever tried to give a cat a bath?)

Commander in Chief Video Game

Fame and glamor make us think heroism is easy; some are born to win and they do it with ease, nary a scratch on them and they look darn good the whole time.  Usually with some snarky one-liner comment at the end like their superiority should have been obvious from the get-go.  But that’s not the case!  True fighters for right may be the last ones standing, but just barely–they sway and begin to crumple, bloodied and battered and exhausted from it all, because Satan wants to destroy every last part of you.  It will cost you every last part if you want to win.  You may never fully appreciate how grueling it is, or how unheroic it feels, until you try standing in those shoes, until you realize how un-glamorus being a hero is.  Imagine if pushing the Big Red Button were your responsibility; how would you feel about each decision?  Is it so cut and dry?  Recall images of the responders to 9/11, covered in dust, sweat, and grief.  Recall those who have protested for sociopolitical change, degraded, emaciated, and threatened.  Recall Christ tortured beyond recognition as a human being, hung naked on a cross and ridiculed by the very people who claimed utmost devotion to God.  “Take me, instead,” He said, “and forgive their ignorance.”

Even today, the story continues.  While He may have defeated death, hell, and the grave, rescuing the dead who chose to believe and receive, and is seated on the Throne of delightful Heaven, the war is not over.  He continues to sob and grieve for those who become irretrievably lost.  Like a devoted parent, He never gets over losing a child.  “I sculpted him with My Own hands!  It was My Own breath I breathed into his lungs that he would come to life!  It was My Own blood that gave him protection, health, and wholeness forever.  It was My Own spirit and nature I offered that he might have a meaningful, successful, fulfilling life.  I did everything and gave everything I possibly could for him, and now I will never get him back.  He hates me, over lies.  I will never get to hold him again.  He is lost into the blackness, forever, and I will never see him again.  My heart shatters every time one is lost.  The grief is unbearable.”  Sure, He could have just kept us in safety, like prisoners, but is that truly living?  Does not every parent wrestle with knowing their children will get battered and bruised learning to fly on their own?  You’ve never known the fullest extent of grief until you’ve seen that stricken face.  Seen Him turn away to go cry alone.  For the tragedy of it all: the love He wanted so much to give, but they wouldn’t receive.

And after all other options had been exhausted, it was He, the Commander In Chief, who finally had to issue the Execution Order of His own beloved.  Satan snatched them away, they were the ones who chose to stay in sin, separation, and rebellion, but He would ultimately be the one who would have to kill them.  Died to save them, now living only to kill them….  There is no glamor in this.  We do not celebrate this power.  This is the responsibility side of power, of leadership.  The gruesome side of making tough judgement calls.  Indeed, it is very lonely at the top.  A place where silence is sometimes the closest you feel to peace.  This is why a special grace exists for these moments of duty, a temporary hardening of heart that protects us while doing what must be done, in order that righteousness, holiness, goodness, and justice stay valid.  Stay real.  If it is not defended and kept pure, it will cease to be what it is, or of any value at all.  In all things, there must be boundaries, and they must be kept.  Some can be seen, some cannot.

Jesus begs us to help make sure no one else gets lost.  His heart cannot take even one more.  No one has to be left behind, but do they know this?  “Please!” He urges, “Help rescue them before it’s too late!  Don’t make me have to do it again.  How much pain can one Man take??”

We can help.  Is it a lot to attempt?  Yes.  Will it be a challenge?  Yes.  However, we needn’t grow faint or give up because the cavalcade of Heaven has been dispatched, and is poised to respond to our every righteous command.  Far more than you could even count!  We need only ask, and the Spirits named Wisdom, Knowledge, and Might will be with us like a posse.  We are not alone, we are not even outnumbered!!  Remember, Satan only managed to sway one third of heaven to his side, the other two thirds are with us!

Open your eyes, like Elijah’s servant, and see them all about you.  *Whew!*  Whether you still remember what is right or you need to look it up, start asserting how things should be, and together we’ll reclaim the property and lifestyle that are rightfully ours.  Tune your ears to hear the signal of the fight, and identify those lone heroes.  Now would be a good time to encourage them, verify that their causes are just and right and good and that they are not truly alone in spirit, even if they may be fighting alone in the physical right now.  Cheer them up, cheer them on, and support them any way you can, because the good they fight for is for your benefit, too.  Anything worth attaining must thereafter be defended.  Tell Jesus you can’t bear the tragedy of the loss, either, and that you will help: defend that which is already right and good, and take the light of the Good News message into the dark places so they will know.

Oh–and don’t forget your white hat!

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