Questioning Orders

General Eisenhower and the top brass were arriving that afternoon, two days ahead of the scheduled base inspection. PFC Shippley was rushing through one of the last jobs that needed doing. He was painting the yellow parking space lines right outside of HQ. Moving towards the last spot (right next to the base flagpole) he tripped over one of the parking blocks. Yellow paint exploded from his toppled can blanketing the entire spot. Panicked, Shippley began futilely mopping at his gaff with a tiny rag. His heart almost stopped as he watched the paint spreading into every asphalt crevice. Suddenly a thundering voice interrupted his coronary. “No … no … no, we haven’t got time for that!” Then came the brilliant command, “Just paint it in!” The inspection went perfectly; no one gave another thought to a solid yellow parking space next to the flagpole.

Fifty years later, Colonel Shippley returned the base to speak at a company reunion. During the drive in, he was astounded that so little had changed since the 1940s. His driver swung the car to a halt in the spot indicated by an orderly. Colonel Shippley stepped out of his car (dramatic pause) into a solid yellow spot right next to the flagpole. No had ever given that spot another thought … literally. For fifty years no body questioned … they just kept refreshing the stain.

This is a longer than I normally quote for my Pastor’s Corner, but I invite you to read it thoughtfully,

Since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 1 Peter 4:1-5

The life of a Christ-follower is not intended to be one in which we “just keep refreshing the stain.” In fact, we are to be militant against sin, armed with the knowledge that Christ suffered and died to set us free. As Paul wrote, Christ died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 2 Corinthians 5:15  In the Army, it might be safer not to question orders … but when our sinful past or the old crowd try to bully us into continued disobedience, we look to Christ and refuse.