Sunday, March 18, 2012

Lent While Deployed Wk. 3

Yet another week has passed during this season of Lent. This means two things to me; 1) Pascha is getting closer, and 2) I am one week closer to going home.

I have come to appreciate the frailty of the human condition during this past week, and by the human condition I mean how we are all prone to err. I started this Great Lent with the intention of keeping the fast. I wasn't trying to be legalistic about it, nor was I trying to puff myself up by saying I was better than everybody else (I'm really not, despite what some of you may have heard/thought); I was merely trying to follow the established fast to the fullest out of obedience to God and the Church established by Jesus and to possibly give myself a spiritual boost.

What I mean by spiritual boost is that I have not had the opportunity to commune with other Orthodox since I have been here. Missing that communion with fellow believers I decided to center my focus on prayer and fasting and I decided that if those were to be my new focus then I should try to do them both as fully as possible.

Well, given my own sinfullness and pride coupled with doing PT twice a day I have been trying to eat one good size meal a day. A good size meal to help replenish the nutrients and energy lost throughout the day. Unfortunately I can't always get enough fast friendly food at the chow hall and I would walk away very hungry as my only meal. This (and my own sin/pride) caused me to fall off the wagon a few times to go ahead and grab the unknown meat substance being served so I wouldn't leave hungry during my one meal.

I figured out a work around to that... Eat twice a day but make them smaller portions. Is this exactally how the fast is supposed to be done? No, not really, but I thought it better to do this then constantly kicking myself for when I ate whatever that was supposed to be. Also, I am still replenishing what I lose throughout the day and continue to improve my PT. And last but not least, not as many migraines!

On a sadder note, I don't know when I will next be able to receive mail as Customs is currently on strike. That means that the package my wife sent me containing the sweet ambrosia within (Irn Bru) will not reach me until Customs stop striking or the military wisens up and uses their own Navy customs people and even the other branches MP's to do a job that I believe should fall to the military any way when it is concerned with Armed Forces and their mail.

Lastly, this topic has come up twice now since Great Lent started; is it ok for Orthodox Christians to serve in the military? Of course some say yes because of the many saints who were soldiers, while others say no because of the prohibition of killing, believing that killing for any reason is never justified.

Let me show you a picture...

That is a picture of me working on fiber optics. That is my current job in the military, it does not involve me having to kill some one, nor should it ever, unless of course some one is trying to kill me. But my main job/purpose in the military is not to go out and destroy people, it is what could be called telecommunications. The Army calls it Signal.

Still think its a nono for all military service? Then let me ask you this, what about Orthodox Christians being police officers? They serve a function very similar to some parts of the military and they may have to take a life in their line of duty. If it is ok to be a police officer, but not a soldier I ask you what is the difference? Is it because the police are there to protect and serve, with out the main function being killing people? If so guess what, that is the main function of the military, the protection of all American lives. Just because some one is in the military doesn't mean that they are signing up to kill people; the opposite is true, they are signing up to protect people.

If the answer is no Orthodox Christian should be in the military or a police officer because they might have to kill somebody then I would ask what about back in the day when you had those Orthodox countries that had standing armies? In a hypothetical fully Orthodox country where everybody from the top down is an Orthodox Christian, who then should be counted on to protect the country from foreign invaders?

I do not ask these questions to mock or deride anybody else's position or beliefs, but I want an actual discussion with actual answers please. I truly am interested in seeing what other people believe about this subject.

Anyway, that's all I have for now. Lord willing I will update again next week, if not sooner.

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