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It was around 1990 and the government was talking about expanding the Yakima, Washington Firing Range. I lived next door and was not sure this was in the best interest of either our military or our community and wrote a letter to the editor expressing my cautions. The military leadership at Fort Lewis, Washington read my editorial and invited me to come and talk. I brought a few other local pastors with me.
We were greeted hospitably at Fort Lewis We met a man that still leaves a strong impression on me when I think of him, Commandant Lieutenant General Calvin A. H. Waller. I have never met a man that exuded such confidence. The man radiated with authority! He cordially listened to our concerns and shared with us his perspectives on the value of expanding the Firing Range in Yakima. We shared lunch with hundreds of soldiers in the mess while General Waller mixed with the soldiers.
You may learn more about this man at http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/cawaller.htm
I was struck by a comment General Waller made, saying in essence. “I believe that expanding the Firing Center is in the military’s best interest. I will ask for the expansion of the center. But I am a soldier. If I am refused I will salute and say, ‘Yes sir.’”
General Waller was a man loaded with authority. Thousands of men, tons of machinery and probably a few tactical nukes were at his command, yet he knew the limits of his authority and that his authority came from above him.
There is a pressing need for leadership with competence and character today. We need it from the top down in government. It is imperative in business, education and media. It is most critical in the Church of Jesus. Without it in our families our culture is toast.
My encouragement to you today is to pray into and exercise the leadership role(s) the Lord has assigned you.
“For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me.
I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes;
and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes.
I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it” (Luke 7:8).
Steven C Johnson
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