Youth and age each has its advantages
Sunday is Veterans Day. In fact, this Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018, is the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended the war to end all wars, World War II.
For those who napped through this session in history class, Veterans Day was formerly known as Armistice Day. Congress enacted the observance in 1926 to mark the end of the First World War on Nov. 11, 1918. In the aftermath of World War II and the conflict in Korea, Congress in 1954 changed the name of the holiday to Veterans Day, in honor of all American armed personnel who have served the nation in wartime.
This Sunday at the Ham Lane Church of Christ, we are going to honor all those among us who have served past, present and future and pray for them and the families who support them.
Dictionary.com defines “veteran” as: “(1) an old soldier of long service; (2) a former member of the armed forces; (3) a person of long experience in some occupation or skill.”
I leave it to the reader to decide how “old” one must be to be recognized as an “old soldier,” or what span of time is implied by “long service” or “long experience.” Whatever the period, the word “veteran” summons up the image of a person of longevity, endurance and perseverance, not the “new kid on the block.”
The apostle Paul wrote “that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience” (Titus 2:2). Again, I won’t impose my view of “older” on any of you male readers; but I wonder does Paul’s description fit you? Would you describe yourself as a “veteran” Christian man?
By the way, “older” sisters (and you know who you are!), the Scriptures describe your responsibilities as “veterans” too: “be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things … admonish the young women” (Titus 2:34). How well does that word picture describe you?
As the wise man noted, “The glory of young men is their strength, and the splendor of old men is their gray head” (Proverbs 20:29).
Neither youth nor age is inherently superior. Each has its advantages, and its place in the Lord’s kingdom. The beauty of being a “veteran” lies not in simply having survived a long time, but in the wisdom and discipline that can be gained from a lifetime of obedient faith. (Whether we indeed gain these qualities is up to each of us.)
“Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct” (Hebrews 13:7). We do well to honor the “veterans” among us, faithful Christians whose lives of service testify to the riches of Christ. Each of us should strive for “veteran” status, becoming examples worthy of imitation. CHAD ERIC D ONLEY Post Chaplain, Lodi American Legion Post 22 Lodi