During the Sunday morning meeting today we were each presented with a challenging question. Do you feel so strongly about something that you believe in that you would be happy to make the ultimate sacrifice to commit to it?
Admittedly, the phrase "Is this the hill you wish to die on?” is actually a new one to me, however I understand the sentiment very well. And it's a formidable challenge... Pick your battles carefully. However, you should be awfully sure of your stand before you commit to it. Are you so sure of your facts that you are prepared to stand firm on them, no matter what. No turning back? Really?
In truth, there's aren't very many battles around that are as clear cut as that. Is this one of them?
I spent a while this evening Googling the phrase, eager to explore more about this. I came across a reference to the US Marines who use the saying, "Choose the Hill you want to die on.". And then I discovered these quotations:
"If you must fight about something, if there must be that thing that will make you raise your voice, grind your teeth and pound your fist on a desk, let it be something that has to do with respect, dignity and integrity; or someone's attempt to deny another of one or all three of those things." - Demitri C. Kornegay
And then there's the Founder's words, from a century ago, which I blogged about after the recent Territorial Congress a few months ago:
"While women weep, as they do now, I'll fight; while little children go hungry, as they do now, I'll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I'll fight; while there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I'll fight-I'll fight to the very end!" - General William Booth, May 1912
Choose your battles. Is it trivial? Forget it. Is it persistent? A storm in a teacup? Is it bothering others or only you? And - here's the clincher - when you come to the end of your life, are you always going to regret that action? Or are you simply going to regret never doing it... never having tried?
I'll end with a brief quotation from Rick Warren's book,"The Purpose Driven Life" - which I am reading through at the moment. I used this very quotation in the prayer meeting that was held at the Corps prior to the main meeting. Awesome, eh?
"It is impossible to do everything people want you to do. You have just enough time to do God’s will. If you can’t get it all done, it means you’re trying to do more than God intended for you to do..." - taken from The Purpose Driven Life (Zondervan, 2002).
Work it through. Clarify your thoughts and intentions. Ensure it's only that thing that God wants you to do. Then commit to it. Nail your colours to the mast.