Saturday, July 17, 2004
Once again I have escaped from the constant pull of my normal distraction filled life, to find solace in the quiet surroundings of the Jordanelle Reservoir, hoping to gather my thoughts and feelings of this past week. As lightening sporadically lights up the evening sky followed by the subsequent sounds of thunder reverberating throughout the Rocky Mountains, the soothing sound of falling rain accompanied with the cool mountain breezes, calms every part of my being. I settle into the pillow like cushioning of this reclining chair, feeling the smooth leather against the bare skin of my legs. All of this seemingly contributing to the overall sense of at one-ment with my environment; allowing my mind to focus on what seems to me to be inspired ideas and thoughts. (As lightening flashed atop a not too distant mountain, the crackling sound of thunder shook the condo windows). The readers of my words might not agree with what I consider to be inspiration, but my written words teach me more about myself thus enabling me to benefit significantly more than anyone else. This process of formulating ideas and concepts helps to solidify and internalize these into principles, as they become a part of my inner belief system.
At a recent weekend military gathering of my fellow weekend warriors and returned Iraqi comrades, I had the opportunity to chat in semi-private surroundings with certain individuals I respect and admire. One person in particular in passing touched on a few ideas that caused me to wonder what perhaps might be the rest of the story. Having sparked my interest, when the opportunity arose, I pulled him aside to ask him what he meant by his comments from the day before.
I was somewhat surprised to hear that he had been pulled over to, what I consider to be, the dark side presented by the media, that of negativity and the overall meaninglessness of our military action in Iraq. I was somewhat taken back by his remarks, but not surprised given the fact that he never was in a situation where he was able to interact with a real Iraqi person, to hear their inner most true feelings about our presence in their country. He spent his year for the most part inside the secure confides of one or more of our bases, set up to provide a totally controlled environment for our soldiers, not unlike any other base in the world. For all he knew he might have been in Kansas, or Cuba, or Kosovo, having no first hand knowledge of the vary people he had come to save. I say this not to belittle his participation, but only to understand the nature of his experience, so totally opposite from mine and to understand his perspective.
He voiced his concerns over having not found any weapons of mass destruction, or smoking gun (obviously unaware of all the signs and indicators leading us to believe that for sure Saddam had the know-how, the technology, the equipment, the motive, and the experience to create them). He was also concerned about the findings of the senate hearings that did not establish any direct connection between Saddam and the terrorist attacks of 9-11, thus ignoring all the indicators and signs that established Saddam’s connection and relationship to terrorism in general.
After listening intently to his seemingly superficial comments, I began what I consider to be a higher level response to those allegations. I say this humbly with all due respect to his right to his opinion, but none the less these words begged to be spoken. If only more people could grasp the true essence of these words, allowing their minds to be enlightened by those of us who witnessed and experienced the true purpose of our involvement first hand. I hope that each of you will, if you haven’t already, try to understand what this conflict is really all about and once you begin to grasp even the slightest degree of vision of this, you can share that vision with others.
I know for a fact that the majority of the military personnel, including myself, did not base our belief in this conflict around whether or not we uncovered the WMD, or the smoking gun as it was referred to. It wasn’t the pivotal point determining our success or our failure in Operation Iraqi freedom, appropriately named for what we were really fighting for. From the very beginning our purpose was clear, our mission identified, and our overall abiding reasons for engagement were not lost in misguided bi-partisan political rhetoric. The military was not bogged down in a dark cloud of uncertainty surrounding the proverbial discussion of connections and ties, or smoking guns and WMD’s.
I had a firm conviction that this was about the Iraqi people and a chance for them to be free from the ever controlling torturous hands of Saddam Hussein. We had given them high hopes in times past, as we made advances appearing to come to their rescue only to pull away when popular international opinion forced us to abandon our plans. We stood idly by while we watched Saddam murder thousands of Iraqis and Kurdish people who in good faith had risen up showing their defiance only to be squished by their murderous leader.
Ye,s perhaps this was about securing the life blood of the world economy, namely oil, to prevent it from being held hostage by a self serving ruthless dictator who continued to squander the nation’s riches to suit his evil desires of murder, rape, and all manner of wrong doings. This was about stability for all, for the betterment of the world, to insure that our system continued to provide jobs, income, and opportunities to the masses of the world family.
But even these reasons do not convey the overriding belief system that propelled me into the life experiences I encountered around each and every corner, changing me forever. I was driven by a higher force, continually manifesting its influence to me each step of the way; enlightening my mind, enhancing my abilities, and broadening my horizons. I was fortunate to have witnessed the divine intervention of a superior power that guided my every step, bringing about a sequence of interconnected events that could not have happened by chance.
I saw things happen in a variety of miraculous ways, ruling out any possibility of intervention by any other power or force. Hurdles were overcome, obstacles removed, paths were cleared, and more than anything else people were changed by the ever present power of the being in charge. Hearts were touched by the pure love of Christ, with every generous offer of kindness and with every concerned act. Military people from all walks of life and from all parts of our country repeatedly stepped out of themselves to display pure love, real empathy, and sincere concern for the people of Iraq.
Many of us took our so called mission to heart, that of winning the hearts and minds of these people. We knew that we could free them from the chains of bondage they lived in, but we could also assist them in knowing what to do with this freedom as responsible citizens. We could show them the way to putting others first, the way to sharing the freedoms we enjoy, so that everyone benefits, not just a few. Through our random acts of kindness we started to show the people of Iraq what Americans are really all about.
I was able to experience the pure appreciation of these people, as they shared their homes, their food, and their possessions with me. I felt of their love, tasted of their hospitality, and saw through their eyes into their inner soul to see their fears, their concerns, their weaknesses, and more importantly their inner desires for their children’s future. I heard them openly express their love for us as fellow brothers and sisters to them, with hope for a brighter future now that Saddam is gone.
I was always aware of how my path was prepared before me, noticing the intertwined sequence of events that preceded my arrival at any given station. I saw the hand of the almighty as it touched individual’s hearts, softening their countenance and opening their eyes, to the end that many things moved smoothly along to fruition, totally unexpectedly. I first hand witnessed miracle after miracle occur as I traveled around that country.
I knew that the success of this operation was not in any of our hands; for we were only tools in the master’s hands to bring about his desired results, with some bigger picture in mind. It was not our vision but his we were pursuing. There was much outside of our sight as we moved forward into unknown areas, hoping that as imperfect beings our successes would out weigh our mistakes. Hoping that as common men we could in some way be uncommon men, with special abilities, to bring about the long term development of these people.
Another Operation Give opportunity
A small city north of Salt Lake City, Utah, named Ogden, in celebration of Pioneer Days, is having a parade next Saturday on the 24th of July. In conjunction with this they have decided to promote the cause of Operation Give by asking people to bring donations to the parade so they can be placed inside a FedEx truck parked strategically at the front of the parade route.
I would like to ask each and every person attending the parade please bring a donation of school supplies, toys, shoes, or whatever else you have to add to our pile of donated items. We would really appreciate it.
This is a great cause which each of you can participate. You too can as common people can do uncommon things. As Ryan Shepherd recently stated “People sell themselves short and don’t think they’re capable of achieving their wildest dreams. If we’re children of God and he is infinite, then our potential is limitless.”
Lets all take the step to make our dreams possible.
Have a great day
Doing it the wiggles way.
Posted by Chief Wiggles at July 19, 2004 07:49 AM | TrackBack