I had no idea what I was getting into when I first recited the Boy Scout Oath:
On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country …
But should this read: “my duty with God and my country”? For I have done nothing entirely by myself. In the Navy I was but one of over a hundred sailors needed to put a ship to sea. As a pastor I am but one of several people needed to lead an effective worship service. Even when I visit someone in the hospital, I am nothing unless I am doing my duty with the Holy Spirit.
For just as the body is one and has many members,
and all the members of the body, though many, are one body,
so it is with Christ.
– 1 Corinthians 12:12
Thus my robe and stole remind me each Sunday morning that many people have ministered with me, preparing me for my duties with God. Thus each morning I pray and listen for God with me as I seek to do my duty.
This Monday I again wore my navy blue suit. The “scars” where stripes once encircled its sleeves and pock marks where ribbons once pierced it remind me of those with whom I did my duty to country and those on patrol this day and those eternally on patrol.
For with the continued efforts of others to do their duty with God and with our country, my efforts continue to have meaning.