Friday, February 27, 2009


Many of us enjoy watching some TV and many have grown up watching classics and one that I remember all to well was called M*A*S*H (A 1970's hit). Now, here's a question for you-do you know what 'M.A.S.H' stands for? It's ACRONYM breakdown is: Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals. The show itself was based on a campaign of the Korean military in the early 1950's and served as an allegory for the Vietnam War.
Now, the things that all wars have in common are casualties. Some casualties are in the war zone where some lose their lives and others are scarred for life. But there are other losses suffered that both sides can relate to: families who feel abandoned, alone, and left hung out to dry always wondering and praying for answers during their uncertain times-will a loved one come home as expected or come home unexpectedly?
Truth is, we all are left wondering these same thoughts under the same circumstances...the only difference is 'perspective'. Don't be confused, because I'm still talking about a war, but it's not the kind you would normally think of in such ways. I'm talking about spiritual warfare-a struggle for identity, community, and belonging. A yearning we all have regardless of whether we're Christians or not. As mere human beings not judged on religious backgrounds or spiritual needs-we are very much social creatures and creatures of habit. The bottom line is-we all have needs.
Getting back to M*A*S*H-whenever the doctors heard 'incoming wounded' they would rush out to the landing zone-doctors and nurses included, to give each wounded person an initial assessment to give the appropriate level of medical attention: some went immediately to surgery in hopes of staving off a life-threatening wound; others, who were considered less severe were moved to a surgical staging area to wait their turn; the rest were declared dead or beyond help. This process was known as 'triage', from a French word that means to 'sort.'
Interestingly enough, we already perform such steps in our own lives. Each day we make decisions about what's important and what's not. As Christians we make decisions based on values we've already set-things that are hard or too much of a commitment are usually declared as 'beyond help' because it's too tough, things that we consider somewhat important are put on the back burner with the thought process of 'I'll get to that later' or when I have time, knowing full well we have little or no intention of fulfilling our 'self promise'-there just isn't enough time and it's just not important enough. Now, the things that are 'life-threatening': like relationships (boyfriends, girlfriends, and friends), sports, the latest and greatest cell phone, car, stereo, gaming system, or TV are important because it helps us climb the latter of popularity. It gives us the image of 'I have it all' and there's nothing I'm worried about-when in reality, we're lost-we ironically have no identity-we're too busy trying to become someone else and pleasing everyone that we have lost sight of meaning: who am I, why am I here? And when things fall apart and we find ourselves broken, we come back to the same selfish thoughts, but from a different perspective...who am I, why am I here-why am I trying so hard, why aren't things working out for me?
Now, in our search-our own personal and selfish search we have answered those very questions-we are no one yet we are so many different people around so many different friends. We think we are diversified, but really we are broken because we haven't really solidified ourselves or given ourselves any sort of security.
Our selfish journey takes us down roads that lead to brokenness because we've decided to go it alone. We've trusted the wrong types of people with our hearts, our thoughts, and our dreams. We have all lost sight of what's truly important-self in relationship to honoring God.
Sure, it's easier to throw in the towel, give up, and let the negative thoughts wrap around us and choke out the very dreams we hold so let it choke out the very thoughts of happiness we seek...let it choke out any hope for love or anything different than we've already gotten-what's the point! Right?
Instead of getting depressed and letting the devil take a foothold in your thoughts choose to pick yourself up off the floor-dust yourself off and make a choice, the right choice. Choose to live and I mean really live. Instead of trusting those who have lost your trust again, swallow your pride and reach out to those who have always been there-God, family, and true friends. Not friends that left you when it got tough and you needed them, but friends that were there even when you were wrong and perhaps friends that you even marginalized and shunned in your selfish search for greater things.
So how does this healing begin you ask? By realizing you're broken and that you've done it on your own and that you're sick of the emptiness you feel from the road everyone has taken. A great author and man of God, Henri Nouwen, said: 'the first and most important task of the healer is making the right diagnosis-a good diagnosis is the beginning.' So if you've given yourself an honest reflection and diagnosis the healing can begin. You can let go of your ball and chain. You can start to reach out to those who have your best interests at heart. While it won't be an easy process, it's the right process for you-you've already done 'easy'.
There's no time table for healing, but remember this is the season of Lent-a time of new beginnings. Lent is derived from the Middle English 'Lente' which means 'springtime'. So if there's anything you've learned from your journey, it's that there's always another day, but it doesn't have to be like it was the day before.
The choice is yours...carpediem! 'Go seize the day!'


Holly said...

How ironic...this blog defined me to the tee, it was almost like you wrote this for "me". Looking outside of the box, I am broken, I am not myself, I am who I dont want to be. Yes, I have become closer with my Father and our relationship is getting better, but there are so many things that I say I want to change about myself and try but it has yet to happen. You of all people know, I let my emotions get the best out of me and after the fact its SO frustrating because I dont mean what I said or did. But at that moment...its like I cant help but do or say what I do. And as much as I want to think I'm not a selfish person, I am when it comes to certain things, and this blog made me realize some of those selfish acts. Again, this was an AMAZING blog, you hit the spot and made me think and take a step out and find myself. You have AMAZING talent and knoweldge and you really know how to put words together to touch people. God has REALLY blessed you with some AMAZING gifts, you will go SO far wiht this. Thanks again for your words and listening to God. He difinetly spoke through you, I TRUELY believe that! :0) Nice job! IU!

B. Obermeier said...

First I like the Carpediam thing, that is what our Detachment Commander is always talking about and even shows movie clips on the topic. It is a great motivator. Second I like the MASH idea. I think it is interesting that we have so many steps set in place and people training for years on no sleep what-so-ever and just to make sure our physical bodies are safe and protected if we get hurt. We always stop and pray for those physically ill, as we should just wait I am making a point, and we rush to someones aid if they are hurt or in the hospitol so they don't have to be alone, we stay with them for days, drop our job, we will drop everything. But we seldom do anything close to this when our brothers and sisters in Christ are hurt even worse spiritually. All we are concerned about as you said earlier Jeff, is our appearence.

pitcher12k said...! haha good stuff..

casualties of war is something i have thought of before, only in terms of suffering however. (i think i posted a comment about that somewhere else.) the idea of a diagnostic is cool, it sounds different/refreshing.
i agree, we all have needs( Luke 10:41-42), it is something that is sometimes hard to see/remember in others..its far too easy to just see the outside of somebody, and never even try to 'peer' inside of them (or at least past the outside)
the 'life-threatening' part... i disagree a little about that. relationships are important, but cell phones and tv...sure they are helpful(or detrimental, depending on the situation), but i do not want them to be what i am going after. same with car, stereo, games..they are entertaining, sure, but friends last far longer(in some cases). perhaps those things are important, but (and maybe you meant this but i didnt see it) there are many far more important things in life. oohh materialism...
and it is easier to give up, its also less rewarding, and its so much fun to take up a good challenge and shove that challenge right back in its face! :D
plus, God is gonna win in the end, so its all good :)