Keepers of the flame have a difficult task, three really. First is to model the ultimate respect for the flame. Second is to protect its honor in the present. Third is to nurture enough momentum today so that tomorrow the legacy of the flame will continue to be honored and respected. Those who have earned the title of “keepers of the flame” usually take it seriously; for the flame is worthy of life itself.
As we walked up the steps of Italy’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier I found myself removing my cap in honor of those who have died for freedom and their country’s men and women. The sign that protected the entry spoke of respect in a myriad of languages. I couldn’t help but smile with appreciation as I saw them guard the steps from those who would sit, loiter or otherwise bring the memory of those who have died into something other than what might be appropriate. It was inspiring to see how respectful the Italian soldiers were and are. They took their jobs seriously and it showed.
You and I are keepers of the flame. We may not know it. We may not understand it. Yet Divinity has commissioned each to guard, protect, and honor the principles of eternity. These include the relationships and souls of those we come in contact we. It is an awesome responsibility. We have help but the reality is that we are on duty 24×7, every day of our lives.
It is important to realize that we will not always be successful. Even the strongest had observed that “as long as I was with them, I guarded them n the pursuit of the life you [God] gave through me; I even posted a night watch. And not one of them got away, except for the rebel bent on destruction.” (John 17.12) The question is; will we stand guard, defend the faith, and respond to the challenge? The alternative is ugly. Will we let the values of mercy, compassion, and love, be untended and unguarded? We decide today.
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