Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty.

Ecclesiastes 12: 13 (NLT)

The morning is breaking forth with its radiant glow upon a very special day. No, it’s not because this is the year of the one-hundredth anniversary—which will probably pass without much public celebration—of the income tax signed into law on October 13, 1913 by President Woodrow Wilson.

I said special.

No, actually, today is the birthday of our youngest Godson.

We were and remain best of friends with his family—“family” actually is the way his family and our family have always viewed the relationship. And to begin the journey which would call us to continue in our roles as Godparents to him—since we were, and remain, the Godparents to his older sister and brother—Lynda and I traveled to be there when he was born at Langley Air Force Base on this day.

In a few days from now, our youngest Godson will take the next step in his training to be a SEAL, as a part of the Special Operations Forces of in the United States Navy which conducts operations on SEa, Air and Land. I can honestly say that left up to his Godmother and me, that path would not have been our chosen career field for him. A nice desk job, perhaps; and something that doesn’t necessitate the carrying of a weapon to protect himself. A nice desk job would be good.

But a call to duty to stand in the gap for us and our country as a US Navy SEAL has been the calling on his life for a long time. And he has begun the training process and stands ready to give it his very best, and see where the final selections and needs for those positions end up.

These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman….”

Thomas Paine (December 25, 1776)

Thomas Paine wrote those words after the loss of New York to the British on December 23, 1776. Two days later on Christmas morning his words were read to the troops by order of General George Washington.

It was all about duty. It is and has always been about duty. As a country we are losing that sense of duty in so many areas of our lives—individually and as a nation. My thoughts drifted there, and then returned, as I wonder when we will get a chance to talk to him today on his birthday as he continues training and prepares to head to yet another advanced training site in a few days.

Duty. That’s the call upon the life of our Godson. That’s the call he is answering for his life and the lives of those others he loves, and all those others whom he loves to serve.

I suspect God wired the sense of duty within our Godson when He formed him in the womb. It was a sense of duty and responsibility which he sees as a privilege to serve others. We’ve always seen it in him—and even now at this most critical of junctures. It’s one of many things within our Godson that we cherish.

And when such a pure and sacred call on any of us is fleshed out in its most innocent and sacred of ways, the call to duty we respond to aligns itself with the will of God for our lives. And a peace ensues. God may adjust, alter, stop or turn around that call and the direction of our response to that call; but whether it remains now, or whether the call was just for then and only for a time, our response is and must always be the same—obedience.

There are those all around us who follow that call to duty God has placed in their lives. Maybe you, like me, are one such person.

Our Godson is—and he is special and precious. God may change the path He is on, or continue it, but in any case our Godson will seek to be obedient to that which he feels called.

So pray for him today—it’s his birthday and another day where he has chosen to respond obediently to the call of God upon His life.

Happy Birthday dear boy—young man—man. Oh how you have grown.

Remember this from your Godfather—Happy Birthday and:

Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty.”

Maybe we would all do well today to remember that word of admonition and encouragement from the God who loves us, created us and goes with us and before us.

In His Name—Scott

Copyright 2013. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.