The popular TV show, “America’s Most Wanted,” has led to the successful arrest and conviction of hundreds of fugitives from justice. One such arrest was particularly interesting.
While visiting the Nashville County Fair two women spotted David Adams – a man wanted for fraud and arson. They recognized him from that week’s episode of “America’s Most Wanted.” Park rangers wasted no time in nabbing the criminal.
But David Adams insisted that he was not the criminal they were looking for. He showed identification to prove his real name was Christopher Cotton. The park rangers were not surprised – Adams had a reputation for using false IDs and disguises. But as the day wore on, through a grilling interrogation, the police became convinced that they did not have David Adams in their hands. They had TV actor Christopher Cotton, who recently played the part of David Adams in a TV reenactment. That’s right – the two devoted TV watchers had nabbed the actor that played the criminal’s part, not the criminal himself. When asked by the press if he was bitter over the false arrest, Cotton explained: “No, this sort of thing is just an occupational hazard that comes with the profession.”
Sometimes as servicemembers we forget that we are not just actors playing a part. We don’t have the luxury of saying, “Wait a minute – I’m just an actor.” When the duty gets rough, we cannot raise our hand, object, and say, “Hey, guys, this isn’t what I signed up for.” We are the “real deal.” We will be expected to deploy to war and risk our very lives in the defense of our nation.
Sometimes as Christians we also forget that we’re not just playing a part. If you want to know what Christ has in store for you, consider his words: “If anyone wants to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s shall find it. For what shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:34-37). So do not be distressed if adversity comes your way. God can help you in your commitment to your country as a servicemember and to God as a disciple and believer.
Dear Father in heaven, help me to grasp the gravity and depth of my commitments to God and country. Help me to keep those commitments. Empower me by your divine Spirit, make me greater than myself, and help me to face and overcome my challenges. Amen.