I’ve had a lot of thoughts going around my mind recently. I’ve been thinking about Abraham, that great example of faith from the Old Testament and strangely I’ve also been thinking about the war in Afghanistan.
Its all too easy to forget the ongoing conflict, but sadly there is an obvious reminder at the cenotaph in Llanharan, our neighbouring village. The cenotaph is decked with tributes to the young soldier who was killed last month (the month of his twentieth birthday), he attended Y Pant School with some of the young people from the church.
The war has also been on my mind as a result of watching ‘Our War’ the series on BBC 3. It is absolutely gripping, moving and anyone watching the programme will be deeply impressed by the young people serving in our armed forces. The language is terrible but to be fair, the language is terrible in every workshop that I have ever visited and they had the luxury of not being shot at! In the clip in the BBC blog here (I’m afraid I couldn’t embed it directly into this post), the crew of a rescue helicopter receive a call to evacuate an injured soldier, sadly the soldier subsequently died of his injuries. As the call is taken, Camp Bastion is in the grip of a sand storm and visibility is almost zero. The soldiers on the ground are told that all aircraft are grounded. It was at this point, as the narrator puts it, that Jon Singh (the pilot) decided to rewrite the record book. He approached the pilot of an Apache helicopter and told him of his idea. The Apache is equipped with the capability to fly through very poor visibility so the rescue helicopter would fly behind the Apache using it as a guide. The story is better explained in the blog here As long as the crew of the Chinook (the rescue helicopter) had the Apache in sight, they were ok, without it they were lost. They flew through very poor visibility, with the entire aircrew focused on the Apache and successfully evacuated the badly injured soldier to hospital. It was an extremely courageous thing to do.
It is a good picture for us. Abraham was called by God to walk before him, to trust him. When he stopped trusting God, he found himself in trouble. He learned through his life to look towards God and take God at his word. It’s a lesson that we too need to learn.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:1-3)