The two women couldn’t have been more un-alike! One was closer to retirement, the other had not yet come of age. The elder, Colonel “Top,” was chief nurse at our annual training summer camp. Tall, wiry, and packed with lightning energy, the only fault one could find in describing her is that her leading-by-example was exhausting to the rest of us.
That, plus she didn’t delegate very well. Since she could do it all so much more efficiently, herself, why bother finding someone else to do it? She swept onto our inpatient ward at the Troop Medical Clinic, and before we could collect the information to give her report, she had straightened the linen room shelves like Better Homes and Gardens! One could speculate she must have a magic wand. Nobody could move that fast.
The younger of the two was a tough little Private. “Street-smart” could have been her middle name. While everyone else arrived at camp via bus or personal auto, Private “Cookie” roared up to headquarters on her motorcycle.
One wouldn’t be out of line to assume the two women had little in common, except for their connection to the army reserve. Even their rank indicated that the colonel would always come out on top under any rating system imaginable. Although Colonel Top had never experienced active duty, except for annual training, she was, obviously, a quick study. What she hadn’t done in person, she most certainly had absorbed via reading about it.
But, then came “night maneuvers!” Colonel Top could have opted out of the class (she certainly didn’t need to make points for promotion!). But she was a good sport. She reported for training in her combat boots and fatigues and followed the instructor’s directions. But she was now obviously out of her element.
Somehow, Colonel Top and Private Cookie ended up as buddy-partners for the expedition into the moonless Wisconsin woods. The colonel admitted to her buddy that she had never done anything like this before. That gave Private Cookie her chance to shine.
“Don’t you worry, Ma’am,” she told her. “You just stick close to me and you’ll do just fine!”
Everyone who heard about it had to chuckle, imagining the efficient chief nurse meekly following the lead of her young mentor. We were also given a beautiful lesson in appreciating each individual, no matter how eccentric some of them might seem!
The Apostle Paul, in Romans 12, alerts each of us “not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think.” Just as the body has different members, responsible for the variety of functions that keep the body alive and active, so also in the church. Just as the heart, without the lungs supplying oxygen or the bone marrow producing red blood cells, would be useless, your gift or mine does not operate in isolation. Folks, we need each other!
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
"For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another."---Romans 12:1-5
Copyright 2003---Edy T. Johnson
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Great lead-in story, but I wanted to find out how it all ended - and you never got around to letting us know how "Cookie" led "Top" through the Course. Otherwise, good job! (but still pondering over the utcome)