When the wildflowers begin to join in among the weeds I remember the soldiers who spring up for a time simply to answer their call and are soon gone again.
On an old bicycle I turn down upon the old country road where Daddy used to let me drive and where I was only allowed to ride my bike a quarter mile out. How different that old road looked when I was just six and there was nothing but wide open spaces, seeds to plant, and a field of wild strawberries ripe for the picking.
Maturity breeds liberty I suppose as I glance over to that old neighbor’s yard where I so longed to play in the tree house and wear out my welcome. I study the tender plants of late and consider the days of picking beetles off of young corn and sharing Sunday spaghetti with the only ones who mattered in the world.
I return to my normal course and wonder why it seems so foolish to even try to go back. Still I wish.
Two days later I’m back on my bicycle in the country. Racing, I push and pull with all sincerity. Transitioning to the run, my hair flies around my unpainted face and I am there. Every ounce of strength is propelling me further into the fight with each steady step. I envision that old road and I am finally content. I realize I am most free when I am fighting the hardest. So it is with every soldier.
How many days of hard work and heated practice it takes to grow! How far I’ve come from regulatory rules and experiencing honest joys. Some changes are good. Some are not.
And so I go back. Foolish, yea, I must say it surely seems so to me. But go I none the less. I go back to the hard places where I am a slave, a child, a willing surrender-er. Yes, where joy is a choice and peace is a challenge. After some unfounded protest, I take my memory of that delightful detour and my half a day old medallion and I determine to become a fool. I keep them close to remind myself where I’ve been and, more importantly, where I’m going. I plan to push forward at all costs as any good soldier before me has done. I put away the rules and regulations of immature faith and I embrace waiting. I hold onto childlike joy and I choose to expect. I purpose to cling to my fellow soldiers tightly and find my greatest freedom from inside the good fight.
Finally, I ask my Lord just what kind of fool he thinks I am and he replies, “This kind: We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute.11 To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, 12 and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; 13 when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.” ~1 Corinthians 4:10-13