FaithView: 9/14/22

(Tech & Time prevented from doing a broadcast today…here are my rough notes. I apologize.)

By Joe Torosian

“Someone has to get on that fifty!”

Text: Matthew 16:24
“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

There’s a scene in the film “Black Hawk Down”…where the soldiers are fighting to get out of the city. On top of their vehicles soldiers are manning 50-caliber machine guns and coming under fire.

One soldier is killed, and drops inside his vehicle. Knowing that someone needs keep firing, the commander behind the wheel orders: “Someone has to get on that fifty!”

Someone is going to have to go up top, man the gun, start firing, and put their life on the line so everyone else can make it to safety.

(I’ve posted the clip. Warning! Language & violence)

We think of demonic possession as only looking like something out of “The Exorcist”…We think of war only as something with bullets, tanks, and uniforms…

I’ve seen the demonic and it didn’t look like Linda Blair.

I’ve heard soldiers talk about war, and say it didn’t look like Rambo. 

I believe I’ve seen war, although it was nothing like what soldiers and my former students saw…It was still war—albeit on a spiritual battlefield.

Often, I’m guilty of making jokes and saying “The Misery” instead of “The Ministry.” And I’m not trying to illicit sympathy…To quote another movie: “It is the business we have chosen.”

But Ministry is really hard…from physically taxing to emotionally crushing…One day your “the guy,” and the next they want you gone.

Whether you are a professional or a committed lay-person…It’s very hard.

And in the midst of all that hard stuff…is something even more cruel. And it is a cruelness that reveals itself in unfairness. And that unfairness hits in the midst of high pressure moments…

Things happen…and there’s a hole to fill…a gap to plug…and it’s going to cost you something…time…relaxation…comfort…peace…rest…interaction with loved ones and friends. 

But someone has to get on that fifty.

Dollars for the most part are easy…We’ll Venmo, Zell, Pay Pal whatever we need and can—just to be free of certain situations or requirements…

But one of the things Ministry doesn’t really allow—for those in it and understand—it doesn’t allow you to write a check and walk away.

Ministry often—too often—requires you to fill a gap, plug a hole, to take one for the team…

“There are times when a Corps commanders life does not count, this is one of them.”—Winfield Scott Hancock, on the third day at Gettysburg. With confederate canons firing in his direction, Hancock rode his defense lines, risking his life to give his men confidence.

While war would be the macro example…I’ll give you a micro…

A few years ago, we had a year at camp where everybody in the kitchen went down. There was no one to wash, dry, and put away dishes…

I’ve written books, I’ve been a speaker at camps and retreats…Pastor Jenene Watkins has a masters degree…we’re not dishwashers…but that week we needed to be dish washers.

Staff went down…and someone needed man the sink…

Someone goes down…and you’re going to need to get on that fifty…

And firing that fifty is not always going to be within your skill set…it might beyond or below your skill set…but there’s no time to wait for somebody else. There are no options.

In a ministry situation somebody needs to get on that fifty now!

Joshua 1:9
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Have you reached a point in your walk with Christ…that you’re going to pick up your cross…realize that there are times when your life doesn’t count…and you have get on that fifty?

You’ve never prayed out loud…
You’ve never worked or led a VBS…
You’ve never served on a board…
You’ve never worked with the homeless…
You’ve never had to be upfront…

But the day will come when someone is going to have to get on that fifty…That someone will be you.

Will you let something die because you didn’t want to be out of your comfort zone or, possibly, believe you’ve already served your time?

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