You may find this blog a little unusual for the Disciplers website -- there is an unusual reason behind it. I hardly ever go to the movies, and when I do, I do not usually have the desire to give my opinion or tell others about it. But this past week I went to see “13 Hours”. I had read the book, and could not resist going to the movie. The book, and especially the movie, made a strong and lingering impression upon me, which I feel led to share with you.
I appreciated the movie and have a high regard for all those involved in making it, especially those whom the movie is about. I want to tell you that the movie did not impress me because of the acting, although the acting was excellent; I was not stirred by the action, although those who like action movies would love this one; I do not recommend the movie because of its entertainment value because I did not find its subject “entertaining” (although I certainly did find it compelling); I am not a judge of cinematography or other "technical" movie things, so I cannot comment on those, but the thing that captured my mind and emotions -- the thought that kept coming back over and over again during the almost two and half hours of the movie was, “This is all true. This really happened. And this is exactly the way it all happened!” I found it hard to believe that what happened actually did (I still do). But it did happen, just as portrayed on the screen. Those who lived through those thirteen hours were consulted to make sure that was so, and I cannot help but think that all involved in the production of this movie must have been stirred as I was.
Since seeing the movie, I have been reflecting -- and wondering -- what was I doing during those hellish 13 hours on September 11, 2012 while six men of the CIA’s Global Response Staff (GRS) bravely and selflessly fought to save the lives of fellow Americans in Benghazi, Libya? Was I sitting in a Bible study group enjoying fellowship with friends? Was I sleeping soundly in a warm and comfortable bed? Was I relaxing in a movie theater being “entertained” by totally trivial fantasy? Was I indulging myself in thoughts or actions that were completely selfish? I do know that I was going about my day unmindful, insensitive, and totally unaffected by the horrors that were going on during those thirteen hours. It now saddens and stirs my spirit to think of how I so thoughtlessly go through life without paying mind to and praying for those who so determinedly live their lives and lay them down for what is right, true, and good -- like those six GRS contractors, our military men and women, and dedicated diplomats like Ambassador Chris Stevens.
As a result of seeing the movie that unabashedly portrays the horrendous events and the honorable actions of a small group of brave Americans facing tremendous odds with no forthcoming help from those they counted on, my days are changed -- my priorities are changed. When I wake up in the morning, my first prayers are for all those dedicated and courageous men and women far from home in hostile territories who serve to protect me, my country, and freedom in the world. May they know in their hearts and in their lives, the grace, mercy, comfort, love, and protection of Almighty God and His Son, Jesus Christ. My heart is with them. A large part of the frivolousness of my life is gone. I don’t want to waste my time and life catering to myself. I want to take a godly stand behind those who willingly lay down their lives every day for good and truth and doing the right thing no matter what. I will do it with my prayers and by using my God given time and money wisely. I want my life to show that I care too -- just like they do.
I thank the Lord, for this wake-up call. Isn’t it just like Him to use even secular things that are so far from our everyday realm of knowledge and experience to open our hearts and renew our minds. My prayer is that I may daily be less trivial and more consequential in all my thoughts and actions.
With humble sincerity,
I have been involved in Disciplers since 1987, as a discussion leader, teacher, writer, and now as director. I am profoundly committed to the stewardship of this ministry which God has entrusted to me for a time. God’s word is the chief joy of my life. I cherish my personal time in the word, and I am filled with gratitude to be able to share His word with you, my fellow disciples in Christ.