WHEN I WAS GROWING UP
When I was growing up, I loved World War II movies and television shows. Productions like Tora, Tora, Tora, Midway, and Run Silent, Run Deep painted a picture for me of bravery, courage, and perseverance. My grandfather (Pop Carey) was a thirty seven year veteran of the United States Army and served extensively in WWII and Korea and I suppose it was his stories that may have played a part in my fascination with this time period in our nation’s history. As I got older, my interest led me to read as much as I could about the leaders during this period, especially the generals of WWII. A book titled 19 Stars, A Study in Military Character and Leadership became a staple for me in learning about how four of our top generals came to be who they were and wound up where they were. The more I read, the more I learned and found that I was actually using principles from their lives in my own life and career. I believe I have benefited as a person as a result of my interest and time in study.
When I was growing up, I always attended church with my family. Pop Carey was the custodian of the church that we attended in Roxboro Philadelphia. I was blessed with a love for church and attending Sunday School at a very young age. When I served in the military, one of my first objectives at each duty station was to find a church that I was comfortable attending. Church provided stability and a place of refuge that reminded me of my family, and I suppose, my memories of my childhood. I read the Bible during church and knew some of the verses. I found chapters and stories that I liked and enjoyed reading about the history in the Bible. It wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I began to realize that the Bible was not just a collection of stories and parables simply dictated through various writers, but it was a historical account of the lives of many great men and women through the ages. And I began to realize that the Bible was not just a “historical account” but it was a story, told through these folks about Jesus Christ. From Genesis’ “In the beginning,” to Revelation’s “Amen,” this book told countless stories through the lives of individuals in different circumstances—many of which I could relate to.
I now understand that just as my study of those WWII generals impacted my leadership style in life, my study of the scriptures and the stories in the Bible, impacts my life and how I think about things; how I experience life. I now see all people and my own life situations differently. Like those about leaders that I respected, the Bible has become a book that I can’t seem to work through fast enough, or study as much as I would like. A truth that has become a stone in the foundation of my desire to read the Bible is that this is where God reveals Himself to us. The more I read and learn, the more I find myself appreciating the relationship that God offers me/us through His Son and Holy Spirit, which is the basis of the Scriptural Story.
I recommend the aforementioned book about WWII generals to many folks who share a love for military history and leadership with me. However, I now more frequently recommend the Bible to folks who want to learn about God and how a relationship with Him will not only impact your life, leadership and relationships, but in a more profound way change them.
by Rev David Kominsky