The United State Marine Corps has launched its latest recruitment campaign and it touts a single theme:
“We’re going to have a chaotic future in front of us,” said Brig. Gen. Joseph L. Osterman, “which also portends a potentially busy time for the Marine Corps.”
The campaign was launched after research indicated Millenials, their target, strongly resonate with the idea that the military exists to serve those in need.
“Most people hear the sounds of chaos and run in the opposite direction,” intones the ad’s narrator. “But there are a few who listen intently for these sounds, not in the hopes of hearing them, but to help rid the world of them.”
The advertisement ends with the tagline: “Which way would you run?”
The Marine Corps is asking a provocative question, a question that our Christian faith actually requires us to answer on a daily basis.
Are we willing to lay down our lives for the sake of others? Are we willing to sacrifice our comfort and security in exchange for following God’s will? Do we shy away from the “chaos” of the world and flee to the seeming security of status or possessions?
More to the point, do I run to help those in need – or do I all too often leave the job to somebody else?
Perhaps unknowingly, the Marine Corps has landed on one of the main themes of the Christian Church. At its core (no pun intended) Christianity is a risky and dangerous adventure, at least on this side of Heaven. Our God is a God on the go. The late Dr. John Claypool, who was a minister and prolific writer, once said that it’s this act of rushing into chaos that distinguishes Christianity from all other religions of the world. God is not interested in our security. He’s interested in rescuing and redeeming hurting and broken people – and amazingly He uses us to help accomplish His purposes.
After the cross, Claypool suggested, the symbol of Christianity “should be a hoisted sail, not an anchor” because the goal is “a promised land out ahead, not a haven of rest.”
Christianity is risky, but as followers of Jesus, we’ll never feel more alive and inspired than when we accept the risks, embrace the danger and run to the chaos of the world, armed with the knowledge and love of the Lord.
Which way are you running these days?