The Battlefront

The battle is real. Which side do you choose?

Boom! Boom! The cannons echo; around you lays the gore,
Carnage left by countless battles in this eternal war.
All who have ever lived, have been enlisted in this fight—
The fight of good and evil, the fight of wrong and right.
Both sides call you to join their ranks, but choose most carefully,
For what you choose will chart your course for all eternity.

On one side stands Debauchery, in all its shades of black,
Complete with subtle battle plans, ready to attack.
His army and his minions and all his tactics too
Are well rehearsed and well played out—they’re good at what they do.
He offers lustful wantings, borrowed from the beast;
And pushing self-indulgence tempts, “Come, sit down and feast!”

He is the king of anger, of hate, of apathy;
The captain of the captive, the prince of tyranny.
With artful propaganda, he leads you into sin;
And as you trudge through mud and blood, he chants, “I win! I win!”
He is the master marketer, your heart his quota’s goal,
For if he gets your heart, he knows, he also gets your soul.

Yet, against this host of clamoring hogs, ready for the fight,
Stands serenely Virtue, clothed in purest white.
And, no, she does not stand alone, she has for company,
Faith and Hope and endless love, the love called Charity.
With these march God’s army, robed with righteous power,
Led by His sustaining light that guides them every hour.

Throughout millennia this war has raged, and still continues on,
Like night that follows darkening dusk and day that follows dawn.
And still the two sides battle . . . which one will win or lose?
The answer to that question, depends on which you choose.
For one alone will triumph; the other will be dead.
Where lies this mighty battlefront? All inside your head.

You know how sometimes you pray and pray and pray for something only to have the heavens be completely silent?  Then, all of a sudden, you get some unsolicited inspiration about something totally unrelated that actually helps you with your initial prayers.  That happened to me the other day.  Let me explain.

Mom was working with her publisher on a book she was writing that I had proofread several times.  It carries a war/battle/soldier motif throughout the book, showcasing our war with the adversary.  It also carries the symbolism of a circle inside a square—a place where heaven and earth meet—and discusses different things we can do to fortify ourselves with heaven’s power.

The problem was that the publisher had not allocated enough pages for all the content.  Therefore, the editor was trying to cut and condense and that was making for a nearly distraught Mother.  Under these very stressful conditions, with the publishing deadline only hours away, I remember inspiration suddenly and forcefully enter my mind that I needed to put a poem in the book.

Okay, hold on just a minute!  I think to myself.  There are all sorts of reasons why this is not a practical idea.  First, this isn’t my book; you don’t just walk up to an author and say, “Hey, I want to put something in your book!”  Second, there is zero room for more content.  They had to cut content to get it to fit on the designated pages, I can’t add to it.  Third, the editor was ready to send it to press and was in no mood for further changes.  And, finally, I didn’t have a poem to add and there was no time to write one! 

Funny thing, God knows how to deal with what seems to be insurmountable barriers.  He has been doing it for a long, long time.  I had no control over any of the obstacles but one—writing the poem.  I told God if he would help me, I would do that part.  I went home that night and the first words of the eventual poem came to mind: “Boom! Boom! Echoes the cannons. . . .” 

The series of events that then unfolded was nothing short of miraculous.  The publisher suddenly changed editors, delayed the printing of the book a few weeks, and added sixteen more pages.  I finished the poem and taped a copy to Mom’s fridge.  A couple days later, Mom said there was a blank page in her book and the poem fit the content perfectly.  She wondered if she could include it?  Was I surprised?  No.  Because God had told me days before something in my heart that, at the time, I could not resolve with my head.

I learned something again.  I learned that God is in control.   I learned that He does not sit so high in His heavens that He is removed from our daily worries and cares.  He is right here in the details of our lives.  I learned that God does the heavy lifting.  I learned that when God wants something to happen it happens, regardless of the obstacles.  I learned that God knows timing—really knows timing.  I learned that I just need to put my trust in Him.  I learned—again—that He hears and answers prayers.  I learned that He loves me and wants me to succeed.  I learned that He knows me personally—my wants and needs and dreams.

See, that is what I had been praying about in the first place. 

Written: Winter 2016

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