Life at Work
Near the end of his life Douglas MacArthur said these gut-wrenching words:
"In memory's eye I could see those staggering columns of the First World War, bending under soggy packs on many a weary march, from dripping dusk to drizzling dawn, slogging ankle deep through mire of shell-pocked roads to form grimly for the attack, blue-lipped, covered with sludge and mud, chilled by the wind and rain, driving home to their objective, and for many, to the judgment seat of God....
Twenty years after, on the other side of the globe, again the filth of murky foxholes, the stench of ghostly trenches, the slime of dripping dugouts... the horror of stricken areas of war."
War is one of those things about which many memories will always be ugly. MacArthur's memory could not rose-color the awful memories of the years of war. There was too much filth, weariness, suffering and death to be overcome.
I'm convinced that if the filth, weariness, suffering and death that is a part of our spiritual war could be visualized on an on-going basis, the army of the Lord would have many more soldiers than it does. I believe that because we see it occasionally. We look at the lives of others and see the turmoil brought about by alcohol and other drug abuse--and when we see it we think about how filthy and rotten sin is. We see the marches on television with the vile public actions of the sexually immoral, and we think about how filthy and rotten sin is. We see a building or a subway blown to bits and hear about the hundred or more killed; and we think about how filthy and rotten sin is. When these things happen, more people become convinced that obedience to God is the only way to clean up.
These things don't happen every day, though. They only occur occasionally, thank God! It is easy to forget between reminders, though, that every sin is ugly. Every curse word, every evil thought, every gossip session, every lustful look, every lie, every hateful gesture, every laziness, every sin is filthy and brings weariness, suffering, and death.
Too many have come to like fighting in this war zone, though. In fact, they look for the ugliest foxholes, the nastiest trenches, and the most stricken areas. Jude commands us in his letter to "hate even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh."
We must keep in mind that this spiritual war is dirty. Whether we see the filth, whether we sense the suffering and death, is unimportant. It is there, and God is the only one who can keep us clean.