Citizen or officer?

My friend, may I ask you a question? If you wish to serve Jesus Christ as a committed disciple, does he own you? How much of yourself do you keep? Do you keep anything at all, or does Christ possess you completely?

My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day.

I’m Mark Brunner.

In college I was a member of the AROTC, the Army Reserve Officer Training Corp. as my initial career intention was to finish college and become an officer in the Army. I didn’t finish the program, however, leaving after my sophomore year. Nevertheless, during those two years I drilled, attended AROTC classes, drilled some more, and attended a boot camp. Most of my AROTC experience was impersonal since many of the incumbent activities and duties weren’t about me but about the AROTC unit. This was especially true of the drills. Outside of AROTC I was Mark Brunner, the student. Inside the AROTC I belonged to the Army and, particularly, to the drill sergeant and the colonel who lead the regiment. The Army possessed me for a portion of my college career as I lived to please my military superiors. Meanwhile, the Army busied itself during these two years of my life prepping and working through me to advance their agenda of making a twenty-something into an Army officer.


The Army owned me for two years of my life. It was without a doubt challenging and, at times, foreboding as my sense of self had to be remolded. It wasn’t about me, it was about the Army.

Here’s a thought from the late columnist Ann Landers. “At age 20 we worry about what others think of us. At 40 we don't care what they think of us. At 60 we discover they haven't been thinking of us at all.” (Ann Landers, via Context, quoted in Signs of the Times, March, 1993, p. 6)

I didn’t complete the AROTC program as I became uneasy with the idea of the Army owning me. Life was really about me. How about our relationship with Jesus Christ, our Lord? If you wish to serve him as a disciple, does he own you? How much of yourself do you keep? Do you keep anything at all, or does Christ possess you completely? John 17:6 gives us a hint: “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.” Here Jesus is telling us that a disciple IS his; he owns them as a gift from our Heavenly Father. I chose not be owned by the Army, so had to content with being a civilian and not an Army officer. That worked for me, but I often think of the missed opportunity. If we want to serve Jesus as a committed disciple, the model is the same: he owns us for that tour of duty. Regardless, heaven will always be our home, but on earth we will be civilians–no shame, just perhaps a missed opportunity?

We pray. Heavenly Father, how rich are your blessings? How abundant and generous your grace? When we examine in our hearts the compelling nature of how you care and by what standards, we stand in awe. Forgive us Lord when we consider your blessings ours and ours alone. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!

Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. Thank you for tuning into This Passing Day. Join us at May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don’t let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.

If you have a special prayer request, please send your request to “This Passing Day!” <> God bless you for Jesus sake.

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