The boy had it coming, but I figured it wouldn’t be great to encourage his four year old pal to punch him in the head. So I pulled the hard hitting lad aside for a good ‘ol chat.
“Lewis, that was a good swing; but you can’t hit your pal. I know he was asking for it. But you can’t be using your fists against your pal. Y’all need to be on the same team. Y’all need to be working together, using your fists to fight dragons and save girls.”
That’s to be every man’s life pursuit: fighting dragons and saving damsels. It’s every man’s job. Done well, and life well lived. Done poorly, life to be regretted.
This Saturday, a young man will report to Quantico for Officer Candidate School, to emerge in 10 weeks as a leader among the few, the proud, the United States Marines. He is doing this because there is real evil in the world, real dragons in real lairs. There are wicked men lurking in dark corners and prowling in places of power, who would love nothing more than to see America’s soil swamped with the blood of her people. If the ladies of the realm are to live in enduring safety, beauty, and happiness, these monsters must be dealt with, with lethal ferocity. This young man will endure 10 weeks of uniquely designed abuse, for the privilege of putting himself in harm’s way for the good of others.
This is a manly pursuit. It is a heroic pursuit. It is one of my life’s unique honors to call him, and many like him, my friend and brother.
His pursuit is a challenging example to me, one that presents me with questions as a new year begins. Did I use 2017 to effectively oppose evil and protect what is good and lovely, or did I waste it on selfish gain? Will I play the man in 2018 and tirelessly fight dragons to save the girls?
I do not have the honor of fighting for my country as a Marine. But I am a man, and so I must fight, the dragons within and without, in 2018.
Will I make war for the good of my church this year? Will I passively accept the wiles of indwelling sin and false teaching for the sake of deceptive comfort and worldly unity? Or will I join Paul and Timothy in fighting false teaching and fighting for the truth and holiness, that faith and love might abound among the brethren?
Will I make war for the good of my family this year? Will I sunbathe in fighting season, letting those who have Satan as their father dictate how my family sees, tastes, and walks? Or will I fight, that truth and goodness might have space to flourish in the hearts of my beloved kin?
Will I make war for the good of my country this year? Will I throw in the towel as sodomy and the slaughtering of babes are celebrated, as women are left exposed to the cruelty of the sexual revolution in the false name of freedom, as greedy despots rob the people blind while being applauded by the covetous masses? Or will I fight this year, that grandmothers, mothers, and daughters might dwell in a land of true freedom, where righteousness, not wrong, is celebrated?
My friend and brother is giving himself to the warrior’s road, a road of unique honor, for the fundamental purpose of fighting dragons and saving girls.
So too must young Lewis grow up to be a fighting man, fists well used and ever ready for action, swinging until he goes down or Jesus returns.
And I, simple, sinful, and weak, am bound before God to give my feeble efforts to fight dragons and save girls, this year and each year following. Though not on the road of valor walked by America’s Marines, I must fight, only to be interrupted by the end.
To evil, in yourself or in the land, give no quarter.