War And Rest

Korean War Memorial 3

Image by Kevin Burkett via Flickr

On a recent visit to Washington, D.C. i saw many memorials: WW II, Korean War, Lincoln, Jefferson, FDR, Washington Monument and so on. It was impossible to miss the way in which war has shaped our country.  The way in which war was required to forge our country as one of freedom in the midst of tyranny which sought to overwhelm it.

i see many comparisons between that historical reality and the reality that we, as men dealing with addiction, face the attack of a Tyrant who seeks to overwhelm us.

But juxtaposed with the reminders of battle; the struggle to be free; and the need for vigilance against the forces of evil were illustrations of beauty and rest.  The National Gallery of Art, sculpture gardens, botanic gardens and other blessings were powerful counterpoints to the brutal necessity of war.

This is pertinent for us on the journey.

We are engaged in a serious war with our Enemy who seeks to devour us (1 Pet. 5). But there is much more than Battle, there is Beauty. Our souls need beauty; we are nourished by it; inspired by it, and something in our hearts is reminded by beauty that while war is real, it all started blissfully in The Garden.

Before it all went horribly wrong, God looked and called His creation good. It was beautiful.

As men who have perverted beauty and turned it into a vehicle for escape into sexual fantasy; a passive response to a challenging world, we struggle to appreciate beauty rightly.

It easily becomes self-serving.

It can be hard to be in the presence of a beautiful woman, for example, and avoid lusting.  Our confusion of beauty and sexuality is heightened by the constant blurring of that line in our world.

The themes of War and Rest reverberate.

We cannot be at war constantly without any Rest; without any time to replenish ourselves.  Rest is crucial for restoring us as we fight.  If we chose to rest and never fight, Tyranny would overrun us. Rest would become resignation and that would lead to the despair of having no real freedom.

i am seeing how i need Rest in order to fight well.  And i am seeing how fighting well means i can truly Rest. i know that in the protection of God; in the place where He is present and active, i can have true Rest.

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