"...to lay down his life for a friend." John 15:13
This is the definition of love, by God. Is there anything we love more than our own life? Not just the breathing, blood circulating, brain functioning part of life, but the desires of the eyes, the flesh and the pride of what we do, part of life. We don't just desire to be healthy and able, we long for comfort, activity and accomplishment. Freedom to live life the way we want to, at least partially, is what was bought every time a soldier fell, a wife lost her husband, a child lost his father and parents lost their son. Not a cheap gift. What are we doing with that gift? Is it cherished daily, held high and honored, motivating us to continue giving that love? Or is it given a token glance then used completely for ourselves in trinkets, pleasures and opportunities for our own enjoyment? Padding our own nest and admiring those who already have, then saluting the fallen for it.
Some are called to give their life for love by dying, and they bravely, selflessly do, while the rest of us are called to give ours by living it...bravely and selflessly. It's a different kind of death, one that is much more intentional and self directed. It gives the best of our money, not just the crumbs that fall from the table. It gives the best of our time, even when we we so looking forward to that vacation or TV show. It gives the best of our reputation, even when people misunderstand us and lie about us. It gives the best of our relationships, even when we don't know how we'll get along without that person. It gives the best of our comfort, even when that pain seems too strong to handle. Living for love can be just as hard as dying at times, but that is what the sacrifice was made for. For continued sacrifice. To follow the example of our soldiers and our Jesus. If we refuse, we waste the priceless gift and silently mock it.
Wear the poppy, attend the Remembrance service and thank a veteran, but go beyond that. Follow their example and don't waste the gift. Live your expensive freedom the same way they died...selflessly and brave. When the Almighty Victor laid His life down, He unleashed the power to raise up any fallen soldier who puts their trust in Him. Remember them. Remember Him and the hope He bought for us all.