warrior (n) 1. somebody who takes part in, or is experienced in warfare.
2. somebody in conflict: somebody who takes part in a struggle or conflict.
“Wait. I’ve never been involved in warfare. I mean, other than fighting with my brother over who got in the bathroom next. I haven’t ever taken part in any struggle.”
Really? There’s a big ol’ struggle going on all around you every day. Battles in that greater war take place every day. You are involved whether you know it or not every day.
I’m telling you nothing original. Though you’ll see my personal touch here and there, everything included here is, or ought to be, common-sense knowledge. With that in mind–that there’s nothing new here and it’s all stuff you and I should already know–let me point out for you what I believe being a warrior in this context is all about.
Ayn Rand said in Atlas Shrugged that, “The evil of the world is made possible by nothing but the sanction you give it.”
Yep. Swirling all about you are moral, spiritual, physical and psychological influences, forces that all push you to think, say and act this way or that. What determines how you respond?
“M’kay, I’m gonna go out on a limb, here. Since you’re forEVer telling me I am the sum of my own choices, I’m guessing the answer is. . . D. A Jar of Almonds. JUST KIDDING. I know. It’s ‘my own choices’, right?
You got it. That’s true for us all.
Think about it. What does it mean to become a man or woman? It is the day you accept the moral responsibility for your words and actions in the eyes of God and man. Some equate it with crowing, “At last I’m insert age and I’m free to whatever !”
No. With respect, you’re still bound by adolescent fantasy’s tractor beams. Age has nothing to do with responsibility. Some people get old and die, never once having fully taken responsibility for themselves, their own selfishly-held notions having controlled them their entire lives. And the primary such notion is, “Me and whatever I want and think FIRST.”
Pity the man or woman who goes to their grave never having outgrown the screaming, “Me-Me’s”. I prefer to think of Michangelo who when 87 said, “I am still learning.”
Remember: we’re populating a list of 28 Ways To Absolutely NAIL Tremendous! Part of being a warrior, of having a warrior’s mentality in this life is refusing to blame your behavior on someone else. You are 100% responsible for your words and actions, no matter how bad you’re feeling, what’s happening in your life, or around you.
You and I are not products of our circumstances. You and I are products of our decisions. And we are constantly making decisions about everything–name it and we’re deciding what to think, believe, say and/or do about them all.
Since there is that big ol’ struggle going on all around you; and since there’s always a demand from every direction wanting you to accede to this or that point of view, this belief or that way of thinking–then having the mindset and determination of a warrior is as important as being able to see your nutty brother-in-law coming before he lays eyes on you.
#4 on our hit parade is to BE BEING A WARRIOR. Dare to be who God’s created you. Choose what you believe and stand for it. You can be respectful and yet firm. You’re living during a time when everyone you meet is looking for good examples, people whose lead to follow.
If you’re always busy trying to be like somebody else, who’s going to do very well trying to be like you? If you’re not willing to get after being the best ‘you’ possible, who are you going to be?
Even if you’re a real great copy of somebody else, you’ll never, ever be better than second-place. And to do that is to tell God, “Uh, y’know, you really didn’t do Your best work on me. Now, I have some ideas to improve on me. . .” Samuel Johnson once wrote, “Almost every man wastes part of his life in attempts to display qualities he does not possess.”
To be a warrior, to have a warrior’s mindset, there’s no better guide than the one God left us. Check this out: “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” (Romans 12:1-2, MSG).
Are you just reading this for your own amusement or are you actually intrigued by the thought you – YOU – just could be being a warrior? If the latter, I encourage you: pay attention to those who daily surround you. It doesn’t take long to establish in your mind how few actual warriors are there to stand with you.
That’s okay. They’re some of God’s choicest men and women, and every one of them is somebody you want to know–and they want to know you.
And along with them is the best possible help available: “The Lord is with me like a mighty warrior.” (Jeremiah 20:11)
Hey. When God’s got your back, it’s a very good thing. Just sayin’. And sometimes when things are getting rough and the battle’s real intense, sometimes it’s of far more value to have one invincibly strong, battle-wise veteran warrior at your back instead of a whole team of untried troops who may or may not stick when the fighting’s the fiercest.
You can’t get any better than God.
© D. Dean Boone, May 2014