RIGGS MINISTRY MINUTE FROM FORT BENNING GEORGIA
CENTER FOR MANEUVERABILITY EXCELLENCE
Rev. Ross L. Riggs, D.Min. www.docriggs.com 19 October 2012
It came as perhaps an epiphany might come. The sun bright, the sky a clear blue and the road dusty; all of these set the stage for what would be a vision as clear as the sky itself. Standing along the dusty road that would lead the distant travelers into their final gathering place, the observers along the road were searching the horizon, straining for that first glimpse of their loved one. The parachutes drifted lazily to earth and then the travelers gathered their baggage, their chute, their gear, and their weapons of war and began that final run in. As they ran, the burdens of their baggage laid upon their shoulders wore them down so their steps could barely clear the gravel in the roadway. They had to make it those last weary steps so they could lay their burdens down. The dust from the roadway swirled up behind them as they ran, but, it was their focus on that final stop and the faces of the observers eager to see the ones for whom they waited, that caught the learner’s attention. The learner saw that it was the desire of the observers for their long-awaited loved ones that seemed to give the tired travelers enough energy and will to cross the last several yards. When the travelers saw their loved ones cheering them on, their steps quickened and became sharper, their gait was steadier and their faces brighter; suddenly the long past run from that remote horizon had faded into a distant memory.
This was the scene played out through the day as the soldiers finished the last of their parachute jumps to earn their ‘Airborne’ wings. They landed strongly and ran into the gathering place with family waiting. As the learner watched, one after another of the soldiers crossed the ‘finish line’ to the cheers of their family and friends. It became clear to the learner that perhaps; just perhaps, this was a picture of what the Apostle Paul meant when he wrote that ‘We run this race in front of a great cloud of witnesses.’