By Chaplain (Maj.) Joshua Metz
Special to GUIDON
The reading for this week comes from the book of the prophet Isaiah 43:16-21.
Three themes of immediate relevance arise from this ancient wisdom: an appreciation of antiquity, a focus on the future, and a preparation of the people.
Moreover, these lessons contain applications both for our community in general and for our individual spiritual lives.
As a community, we face all the turmoil and uncertainty that comes with a summer of transitions, including those of many significant leaders.
While this dynamic may be predictable, it proves no less challenging. Isaiah’s words remind us that we must duly honor the work of those departing, set the conditions for those coming, and prepare the force to carry out these movements all while seamlessly accomplishing our primary mission.
Our great task on behalf of our nation and our Army never sleeps; we must continue to develop competent leaders and warriors of character and we must continue to deliver maneuver support capabilities to enable mission success across the range of military operations.
As individuals, Isaiah’s words also provide a useful focus for our spiritual journeys during the season of Lent. In the plainest sense, Isaiah reminds the people of what God has done for them while unblinkingly focusing them on what God will do for them.
For Isaiah, then, religion is not a dust-covered memorial to the past, but a living and breathing hope for the future. This hope begins and ends with God and the work of renewal he himself is working by his mighty hand. One verse succinctly sums up this hope, “See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland” Isaiah 43:19.
Even in a seemingly hopeless situation, God can bring forth hope; even in the midst of death, God can call forth new life.
As we go forth to serve our nation and our God this season, may we do so with hope brimming in our breast, with appreciation for what God has done already and in anticipation of all he has yet to do.
Amen and Amen.
(Editor’s note: Metz is a chaplain with the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School.)