“That others may live.” – USAF Pararescue Slogan
But He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned-every one-to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. – Isaiah 53:5-6
Slogan: “a war cry especially of a Scottish clan” – Merriam-Webster Dictionary
In US Air Force Pararescue training you’ll be drowned. By drowned, I mean given a task to do underwater until you can’t hold your breath any longer, inhale water, and would die if it weren’t for your trainers rescuing you. Why? It seems so cruel. But they don’t do it to be cruel. It isn’t a pleasant experience for sure, but it isn’t to be cruel. They do it to remove a persons fear of drowning. “But we need to fear drowning to stay alive,” you might be saying to yourself. And you’re right. However, an Air Force Pararescue man or PJ can’t fear death either. They’re slogan, “That others may live,” is a sentence that purposefully leaves out the expectant subject and their action. There’s an unstated blank before the statement that begs the question, “Do what?” so that others may live. The answer is, “You fill in the blank.” And now we know the answer as to why a PJ can’t fear death. It’s because they have to be willing to be tortured and die so, “That others may live.” It’s their job and they’re proud of it. My question is this. Could we live by that slogan? By that war cry? Certainly we’re not all called to be military rescue operators, but we are called to save. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13 We may never have the opportunity to save a physical life, but there’s no doubt we’ll be faced with saving a spiritual life. “But how?” You may be wondering. “Will I have to pray in front of people?” “Will I have to ask people if they know the Lord?” “Will I… (state your greatest fear hear)” Maybe… That’s why it’s important to train. So that our greatest fear loses its power. Drowning is pretty high up on most people’s fear list, that’s why to be a PJ you must be drown. But as scary as drowning my be, speaking to others about Jesus may be higher on many people’s list of fears. We need to remove that fear. But how? Answer: I’m not sure. It may be different for you than for me. However, I do know this. Dirty jobs always seem much worse before you get your hands dirty. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not calling evangelism a dirty job. But it does take some getting used to. It requires we get involved in things we may not be comfortable with. It requires… Fill in the blank. So that others may live. So that others may have the “Peace of God which passeth all understanding.” – Philippians 4:7 So that others may see Jesus face to face. That’s evangelism and it’s something to be proud of. Not because of our own efforts and what we do, but because of who we’re serving. God and others. “That others may live.” At first glance it seems like an incomplete sentence. However, upon further inspection, it’s as complete as it needs to be. Who’s the subject? Others. What’s the action? Live. Could a sentence like that be written about our lives? And what would it take for that sentence to apply to our lives? Fill in the blank.
Daily Journaling Questions:
- How did I help someone in kindness today?
- What did I learn today?
- What am I thankful for?
- Who did I love today?
- What am I dreaming of?
- What about today do I want to remember forever?
- What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading,