Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor. Romans 13:7
I wanted to write a devotion that would show great respect and honor to our Veterans. The more I researched the history behind the day and tried to put my thoughts down on paper, the more inadequate I felt. Oh, I understand honor. I was raised to honor and respect my elders and to honor and respect the House of God. In our house, deep admiration was shown for those with great ability or achievements. We knew at a young age that those in the military deserved our high regard and esteem. In elementary school my Brownie Troup (girls too young to be Girl Scouts) learned how to fold a flag, to keep it from touching the ground and to stand and place our hands over our heart during the pledge. This training was a priority and our actions not questioned. Honor was and is second nature.
Where I began to feel inadequate was when I began researching the history of Veteran’s Day. In researching the history of the day, the feelings, sacrifices and lives of those who have served came into clear focus. You see, Webster’s Dictionary defines veteran as a person who has had long service or experience in an occupation like that of a soldier during war. A veteran did so voluntarily. They made the choice to serve our country in the military. They entered the service with complete faith that the American government would supply their needs (clothing, shelter, medical supplies, etc.). They served with complete commitment. They are and were committed to our country. They performed their duties daily and faithfully. They followed orders exactly as given without question and immediately upon being asked. The children will tell you this is obedience!
A true veteran served with devotion and profound dedication. Their every waking moment was dedication to their service of country and freedom. Just like the disciples left “all” to follow Jesus, a veteran left home and family to devote themselves to service. When you think about the devotion, commitment, faith and complete obedience to the cause what honor and respect we can show seems far from adequate. We live in a country where we can worship as we choose without fear of persecution. You can worship any day in any way. Do you? You can share what Jesus has done for you with anyone without going to jail. Do you? The freedoms we enjoy should not be taken for granted because it comes from the complete devotion of those who fought to make it possible. Thank you is not enough but sincerely heartfelt.