For those who don’t know, I’m originally from the military town of Killeen, Texas. Now, Killeen has a couple of claims to fame (they are quick to point out that Elvis was stationed there back when he was drafted), but one that I’m sure they’d like to forget is the 1991 Luby’s Cafeteria massacre. Feel free to read the article, I’ll still be here when you’re done.
Anyway, one of the lessons God has been teaching me has been about self-sacrifice. I’ve heard it said that self-preservation is a basic human instinct. Well, I’ve come to realize that God calls us to “shake off” that instinct and put others first. There are two stories mentioned in the above article that give rather extreme counter-points to what I’m saying:
Details related by shocked witnesses were sometimes incorrect. An unidentified Fort Hood soldier was reported to have thrown a chair through a plate-glass window, allowing 20 or 30 people to escape.
Actually, the heroic act was performed by auto technician Tommy Vaughn, who had thrown himself, not a chair, through the window. He was treated at the hospital for deep cuts on his shoulder.
Among the stories on Friday, Oct. 18, was one about a frightened 19-year-old Luby’s employee who spent 20 hours inside the cafeteria’s dishwasher, accompanied by a photograph of him next to his hiding place.
Now, I don’t want to judge anyone, as nobody knows how they’d react under those circumstances until faced with them. I’d like to think I’d sacrifice my life to protect others, but I could find that I stoop to using a child as a human shield so that I can escape.
Actually, what I’ve found is that a lot of us go through life “hiding in the dish washer.” There are people in the world that need us, whether they be friends, family, or complete strangers, and we miss them because we’re too busy looking out for ourselves; “I need a car,” “I need a house,” “I need a spouse,” “I need more money,” “I…,” “I…,” “I….”
What I’ve learned recently is that I’m not here to prosper for my own gain, I’m here to help others no matter what the sacrifice. My life is not mine, and I have to go where God leads, which starts with putting aside my own desires and listening.
“If anyone wants to be the first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”