Then Jesus said to all the people: "If any of you want to be my followers, you must forget about yourself. You must take up your cross each day and follow me."
-- Luke 9:23
The June 6, 1944 landing on the French beaches of Normandy--the bloody event best known as D-Day--involved an estimated 2 million Allied soldiers, sailors and airmen, plus thousands of naval vessels and aircraft. About 17 billion pounds of supplies supported it. And if it weren't for a stubborn weatherman and a general who were willing to risk the outcome of World War II, this history-changing operation might have turned out quite differently.
American, British and Canadian troops had trained for D-Day for months. And the German military knew that an invasion of Europe would come from England sooner or later. The question was where...and when. June 5 was the original date with destiny. But the weather was questionable and could make the English Channel treacherous for the thousands of vulnerable landing craft and support vehicles.
Dr. James Martin Stagg, the Allies' lead weatherman, advised postponing the massive invasion. However, he also told General Dwight D. Eisenhower that he expected a break in the clouds on June 6. Several members of the meteorological team disagreed with Stagg's interpretation of the weather charts. But after considering the situation for just 30 seconds, Eisenhower made his commitment.
"OK," he announced. "Let's go."
Commitment is a rare quality that God has valued in his people for thousands of years. For example, Joshua, one of the great servant-leaders of the Old Testament, displayed this trait when he challenged the tribes of Israel to choose who they would serve: the false gods of their ancestors or the one True God.
"But as for me and my household," declared Joshua, "we will serve the Lord."
That was his "Let's go" moment. But how about yours and mine? There's no such thing as a neutral commitment or relationship. After all, you're either following or being followed. So here's the big question that every Christ-follower must answer: Where are you headed--and where are you taking others?
The answer just might determine your destiny.