Professor Media Matters

I am a media professional with 6 years as a TV producer and reporter, and college professor in the field of Communications. I am also a Conservative with a passion for pop culture. This will be my attempt to put the "me" in media. It will be my take on movies, TV, books, magazines, newspapers, the Internet and all that is the worldwide media.

Friday, April 21, 2017

CALLING ALL SOLDIERS

In honor of Autism Awareness Month, I am posting a devotional from my book about my son, Parker's Story: Essays on Autism and Awesometism.

KEY VERSE:

 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13

ESSAY:

            A while back a caller on the radio version of the Sean Hannity Show said her son was leaving soon for armed forces basic training. She described his decision to join the military as a “calling,” as if it was something he was born to do. She said she was very proud of her son and his decision, and indeed we all should be.

            For those like me who grew up in Christianity, we’re familiar with the idea of a “calling.” It seems it is most closely identified with religion, as if God has “called” you into the ministry. He has spoken directly to you and told you to become a pastor or a missionary. But I believe it can be applied to other career fields as well, outside of religion. After all, this young man felt “called” to be a soldier. And in these dangerous times that we live in, we should all be thankful he did.

            I read an interesting book t about that elaborates on this drive in men and boys. Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul by John Eldredge talks about how God creates boys to be rambunctious, rowdy, to play with toy guns and pretend to be cowboys and Indians or cops and robbers. My six year old son likes to pretend to play Wipeout and jumps from chair to chair imitating the obstacles he sees on the hit ABC television show. I used to try and stop him, fearing he would get hurt. But now I realize it is just the way he is wired. No matter where we are: McDonald’s, the mall, a hotel room – give my son a few steps to climb and some chairs and he will turn it into a Wipeout-worthy obstacle course. He is so creative and active.

            So this is how Parker has been playing Wipeout all weekend. We pushed his bed along the back wall. Then he stands on a little footstool about two feet away from his bed. And he jumps to the bed. If he makes it without falling off, he has advanced to the Wipeout Zone. If he lands short or falls off, then he has to pretend to swim back and try again. He lets me do the play by play announcing like I am one of the star hosts of the show, John Henson. We are loving it. Then there is another obstacle course game he has invented. It is named “Kamikaze” after a Wipeout stunt. It involves me getting on my hands and knees, which is getting harder to do the older I get. Then Parker yells, “Kamikaze” and jumps on my back. It is fun and hilarious. But when a 60 pound six year old repeatedly jumps on you, who knows how long this 44 year old’s back will last. Oh well, it will be fun in the meantime.

            We need boys to play like this. Our society needs to let boys be boys. Sure, they need to follow the rules at school and obey the law, but don’t try to feminize them and take away their toy guns or their rowdiness. Let them be and act like boys. For one day we may need them to harness that rowdiness, that energy to become soldiers. Thank God there are so many men who are willing to do just that. Men like my dad who served in the Korean War and my nephew Kyle (U.S. Air Force) and another nephew Micah (U.S. Army). They epitomize John 15:13 – “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

ABOUT AUTISM:

            While my son loves to be rowdy and rambunctious like other boys, he is not likely to ever serve in the military. With autism, cerebral palsy and other significant issues affecting his brain, the U.S. military is not likely to accept him into their ranks.

APPLICATION:

            Is there an area of your life where you feel God is calling you? It may be to become an actual soldier or it may be to step up your game in the spiritual war and become a greater soldier for Christ. Listen to God and His word and answer the call. It won’t be easy, but you also won’t ever regret it.



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