Keeping alert at your spiritual post of duty

Not many of us will ever actually have to serve on guard duty. But all of us have a duty to guard our thought from mental intruders.

Have you ever considered the far-reaching responsibility of someone on guard duty? This person may be entrusted to protect valuable property or ensure the safety of others. He may even be asked to guard an area so highly sensitive and strategic that an entire nation could be endangered if this area were not adequately protected from intruders.

The importance of standing guard, not just physically but mentally and spiritually, was brought home to me during my wartime enlistment. I served guard duty on a United States Army post, all areas of which had to be guarded adequately. Each guard was instructed to be vigilant and alert every second that he was on duty. Many a sentry call could be heard throughout the night as the guards would challenge intruders with a resounding: "Halt, who goes there? Advance and be recognized!"

This keen alertness proved its value in the protection of both the personnel and the property on the entire military post. Later, my unit was sent overseas to a combat zone. In this environment, so different from what I had been accustomed to in civilian life, my buddies and I faced possible enemy air attacks at any time and also the danger of other types of enemy action. It became obvious to me that something more than human alertness, as necessary as it was, was going to be needed to allay an overpowering fear of being in the hostile combat theater.

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The link between gratitude and healing
May 18, 1987

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