A Matter of Rank

Joel Stephen Williams

soldier pic

Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., is known as the son of the famous President, but he had an impressive career in his own right. He graduated from Harvard and served in the military in W.W. I. He was one of the founders of the American Legion and was Assistant Secretary of the Navy like his father was before him. He was Governor General of the Philippines and Governor of Puerto Rico. He ended his public career and entered business in 1933. During his military career he was awarded every military combat decoration including the Congressional Medal of Honor. With the start of W.W. II he returned to active duty and was promoted to Brigadier General.

A story is told of Roosevelt from the early days of W.W. II. He was waiting to board a plane on which he had a reservation. He overheard a private at the ticket window begging for a ticket: "I'm going overseas in three days. I want to see my Ma before I go. I can go home and back only if I travel by plane!" He was told, however, that there were no seats available on the plane. At that moment Roosevelt stepped up and said that he would surrender his ticket and his seat on the plane for the private. A fellow officer protested: "But General, this is a matter of rank!" Roosevelt gave a masterful reply: "That's right. He's a son. I'm only a general."

The highest rank which God could bestow upon us is to call us his children. "See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are" (1 Jn. 3:1). As children we are given the closest possible fellowship in a relationship with God. We are given all the privileges of heirs. We are granted the status of family name and recognition. We are also given the awesome responsibility to live up to the expectations that go with being a child of God. If it is a matter of rank, deference goes to the child of the King, and "that is what we are."

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