There are a few different blogs that I occasionally pop in on and one of them related a recent encounter he had on an airplane with an Army officer. He asked him what was one of the biggest misconceptions about Afghanistan and here’s what he said.
“We statistically lose more 18-25 year old soldiers when they go home for R&R than we do in combat in the field.”
Does that surprise you? It does me. If you asked me which was more dangerous, being in the middle of an armed conflict in Afghanistan or going home for a few weeks of rest and relaxation, I’d pick the first option 10 out of 10 times. The officer went on to explain…
“What sometimes happens is that you have folks that go back home after being out of the country for months at a time. They’re flush with cash, haven’t been in a lot of social situations lately and think they’re out of danger.”
Apparently they buy motorcycles and crash them. They make bad financial situations that wreck them. They get in DUIs. In a million different ways they make the kind of mistakes that can ruin you. All while at home. All while on vacation.
Is there a lesson to be learned? Should we all avoid vacations? No. But we do need to be aware that when we let our guard down too far we set ourselves up for unexpected problems. Sin is no respecter of persons and the enemy is an expert at leaving traps all around us. Peter warns…
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” ~ 1 Peter 5:8
When Paul describes the armor of God in Ephesians 6 he closes with this admonition: “…pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests… be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
Can we make time today to pray for a fellow saint as well as our soldiers?