I have a very good friend whom I have known since the 90’s. He is a character. If some people are “colorful” he is “Techni-colorful”. He’s also one of the most spiritual people I know, but he learned most of it the hard way I think.
He was raised in the church in the 60’s, and told me one day how each time he could remember a returned missionary telling about their missions, their stories seemed to be about what they had suffered. He said they told stories of being persecuted, beaten, imprisoned, shot at, stabbed, hospitalized, betrayed, ridiculed, bossed around by senior companions, and basically being in danger for two years.
He said about the time he turned 17 he decided a mission was too dangerous, so he lied about his age and joined the navy. He said he did it for the express purpose of not serving a mission.
He sat down and shook his head, then said, “In the navy I was persecuted, beaten, imprisoned, shot at, stabbed, hospitalized, betrayed, ridiculed, bossed around by senior officers, and in far greater danger than a mission ever could be. Everything I feared would happen on my mission, happened much worse in the Navy.”
I asked him, “I’ll bet you were grateful when you got out. What did you do next?
He scratched his head and said, “I reenlisted.”
© August 2011, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted.