Malmstrom is not the name of a piece of furniture found at IKEA. This name is becoming more and more familiar as news reports stream in about the misconduct uncovered at the Malmstrom U. S. Air Force base in Montana. Drug use, binge drinking, sleeping on the job and cheating on monthly proficiency tests are on the list of offenses. These are hard enough to excuse in any military situation, but when it comes to officers responsible for launching nuclear weapons, the charges are even more alarming.
I heard a radio commentator, whose name I didn’t catch, say that he understands why these launch officers are acting up. While not excusing them, he said that they were probably bored, working their 24 hour shifts in the underground launch centers on a mission that is basically obsolete. Although the Cold War has ended, these missiles are still pointed toward Russia and these officers are meant to be in a state of constant diligence – ready at a moment’s notice to launch them.
The radio commentator went on to say that priorities have shifted since we now have other battles to fight, so these officers have lost a sense of urgency about their mission.
Are we at Sligo clear about our mission? Have our priorities shifted? Are we still ready for action in promoting God’s kingdom at a moment’s notice?
Hiroo Onodo died last Thursday at the age of 91. After World War II ended, Lieutenant Onodo of the Imperial Japanese Army continued to believe he was at war for another 29 years. Talk about an obsolete mission! He was welcomed home as a hero in 1974, but I have to wonder how was he promoting the cause of Japan in his mountain hideout? In his designated role as an intelligence officer, what information could he communicate back to his superiors and how would he accomplish that? His priorities had shifted to self-preservation and in doing so, he missed out on a third of his life!
Are we at Sligo content to ‘hide out’ among the pews from Sabbath to Sabbath? Are we only about promoting and preserving ourselves? The message of Christ to the church at Ephesus in Revelation chapter 2 still rings clear today: We are commended for our hard work. There’s no question about our endurance and how many hours or years we put in. Christ recognizes the fact that we don’t tolerate people we consider evil. We may have even suffered for His sake, but with tears in His eyes He declares that we have lost sight of the motivating force of our mission. We have lost our first love.
Our mission is obsolete if we continue to act out of mere self-preservation and forget the love that is our reason for existence! Last Sabbath, Pastor Lopez eloquently spoke about being ‘armed and dangerous,’ reminding us that we are equipped through a love relationship with God to promote the Gospel of peace. This week, Pastor Tapp will continue preaching the message of Haggai, challenging us to operate our mission from the platform of God’s love, the truest motivation possible!
From the base of this one and only true motivational force – become equipped. Become armed and dangerous! The Potomac Conference is offering 26 classes to choose from on Sabbath afternoon, February 1. Look for more information on our website under “EQUIP.”
“In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might prov”. (Ephesians 6:10 Amplified Bible)