Go! for Lent: Joshua 1:16
Joshua is working to claim the land that God has promised. He is sending warriors into battle, and this verse is a part of their response. They have accepted his command and do so seemingly with ease. If you have been deployed for military service or, like me, are friends or family to ones who have been deployed, you will know that the choice to go is not easy. Saying yes to being a warrior and then going off to war does not always result in the ultimate physical sacrifice, death. However, there will be most certainly the death of a variety of things unnamed. This sacrifice, this loss of time with family and milestones in a child’s life, long term physical and mental injury, or even the loss of body are all losses that a warrior is saying yes to when they say, “ where you send us we will go.” Regardless of one’s thoughts about war, the ability for a human being to choose this path of sacrifice is to be commended.
I did not grow up in a household where being a warrior was even an option or a praised choice in someone’s life. The culture of questioning authority that I was raised with does not lend itself wall to being in the military. I probably would not have made it through one day of boot camp. While following the commands of others often means that you don’t have to take responsibility for bad outcomes, it does mean that you may have to do things outside of your comfort zone with limited information. As I have grown older, following commands becomes increasingly more difficult, especially when following the commands of God.
I know that following God’s command is not a blind going forth. It is a call into partnership with God’s vision for the world, but that path is rarely clear and paved with a far-reaching site lines. But perhaps there is something to be learned from these warriors. What if we went when God commanded? What new and different choices would you make by simply going down the muddy, debris filled path with 2 feet of visibility ahead? How could you remember that God’s son has already walked that path and continues to walk it with us now? How can you accept that you will lose things on this journey?
This is a season of preparation, for us to answer these difficult choices and inspired to make new choices as we celebrate the risen lord on Easter morn. Through our Lenten fast, we get to choose in small ways to trust God’s command. Choosing to go where you have been commanded means loosing things along the way, inviting death in our lives. We will have to trust in new ways, there will be sacrifice, but if we make this choice there is the possibility of transformation and resurrection.