Chaplain (Maj.) Florio F. Pierre
Deputy Division Chaplain for Family Life, 25th Infantry Division
The 25th Infantry Division’s Headquarters concluded its 13-month rotation in Iraq, closing the chapter on 10 years of persistent conflict.
These arduous years tested the spirit of our nation against the will of the enemy.
Our nation’s determination was not marred by the lack of gratitude or the presence of faithlessness. With vision and fortitude, our noble warriors tackled each obstacle that came their way.
The future of our force looks only brighter, as we build on the success of the past. Whether we speak of a nation, a unit or the individual warrior, we all need visions to survive.
Vision reflects on both the past and the future. It is often said, “We don’t know where we are going, if we don’t know where we came from.”
Reflecting upon the past compels us to look at the future with more fervency in our prayer life, as well as our relationship with our fellow man, because the challenges ahead are so uncertain.
A people with a vision realize there is something to remain faithful to. In the story of David confronting the giant Goliath, in 1 Samuel 17, David had to prove to king Saul, as well as his seven older brothers, there was a cause and a just reason he should be involved in the fight.
A “just cause” for war? Why not peace?
First of all, God is not against war. A people with a vision must fight the obstacles in the way of maintain or obtaining the goal or vision.
Have you ever had to fight yourself against the thoughts that keeping your New Year’s resolutions are too weighty and cumbersome? Did you ever have to decide to protect your neighborhood against theft?
You see, obstacles did not alter David’s vision or his bravery to protect and defend his people. David’s own brothers disparaged him about his vision and his dream. Only because David believed so strongly that what God says matters in the fight was he able to make his ears dull to criticism and desensitized to fear.
David had just been anointed king in 1 Samuel 16, but the crown had not yet been placed on his head. His goal was to deliver Israel from Goliath — like the spiritual life that we live by faith today triumphs over adversities.
By faith, David knew that God would come through for him. His vision of wearing the royal robe could only be enhanced by proving himself before his family, as well as the army that he would later lead. When we have a vision, we must embrace the challenges of life with fervor, courage, faith and hope. Without vision, we will despair and tremble at the presence of obstacles.
I believe that God has a vision for our country, and it was embraced by the founding fathers.
Benjamin Franklin said, “Having a high IQ or good intentions does not make one a good citizen or good friend or guarantee success in life. It is the virtue of perseverance that is a most likely ally.”
A people with a vision must have the means to persevere and endure hardness as any good Soldier does. Your plan will be tested, but you must keep the faith.