I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1
Arlington National Cemetery is one of the most solemn and humbling places I have visited. Row upon row of headstones mark the graves of men who gave their all in service of their country. I even grew up with a soldier who is buried there – killed in Iraq when his convoy was ambushed. In Arlington rests the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. In an impressive display of patriotism, duty, and precision, Tomb Guard sentinels have walked the twenty-one steps back and forth in front of the tomb continuously since the first unknown soldier was laid to rest there in 1921. There are very strict requirements of the sentinels. They must be between 5’10” and 6’4” tall. They must memorize the location of over three hundred graves at Arlington, as well as the seven-page history of the cemetery. They must maintain an immaculate uniform, and they must walk their shift regardless of weather conditions. They endure all of these things not only to honor the fallen soldiers, but also to earn the privilege of wearing the Tomb Guard Honor Badge, a very elite military honor.
If soldiers are willing to train and sacrifice for a country that will one day be no more, then how much more should we, as Christians, be willing to sacrifice and live for a Kingdom that will last forever? It seems that, in this day, young people no longer desire going into the ministry in service of their Lord. They are more interested in making money or a name for themselves. The soldiers at Arlington give some of the best years of their lives to the service of the tomb. They serve when they are in the best physical condition of their lives – they don’t wait until they are old and decrepit and then decide to find time to serve. Why should our service to Christ be any less? Don’t use the best years of your life in service to yourself and all your fleshly desires, then use what it left to serve God. Decide at a young age that you will give your best years in service to Jesus Christ. Your older years will be so much more satisfying if you have spent your youth in training and sacrifice for the Kingdom of God.