It used to be, the first and only rule of a fight was to strike first, strike hard, and hopefully, strike last…that is, until youths started traveling in packs, with an entourage, or as the kids used to say in my day, ‘in a crew.’
I’ve seen more than one occasion play out, wherein a certain someone underestimated the abilities, experience, or number of friends another certain someone had, and lived to tell the tale from a hospital bed, donning a full body cast.
I grew up in a gang infested neighborhood in Southern California, and being an immigrant from one of the less than popular countries I was always somewhat of an outsider, even before you factored in my propensity for huskiness.
Due to my outsider status, most of the gang kids left me alone, and I could watch how certain things played out from afar, and with the requisite objectivity.
During my freshman year of High School I witnessed an interaction that closely mirrors what is occurring at this very moment, on an international scale.
Ruben was the new transfer – having just moved from Tennessee with his entire family – and he was anxious to prove himself and garner a reputation. Oscar was a smallish boy for his age, all skin and bone and not much else, who had three older brothers that had all been jumped into the local gang.
Oscar looked like a safe bet for Ruben to make his bones with, and so he started trying to pick a fight every which way he could. Oscar was shy, quiet, and non-confrontational, so he avoided getting into a fight with Ruben, but somehow word got to Oscar’s brothers that he was being bullied, and they decided to step in and deal with it.
Ruben was in the hospital for two weeks, after which he transferred to another school. This happened for two reasons: first, because Ruben was stupid, trying to pick a fight just to prove how tough he was, but also because he didn’t do his due diligence to find out who Oscar was, who he was associated with, and who ‘had his back,’ as the saying goes.
At this point in time, we are trying to pick a fight, and for the life of me I do not understand the why of it.
Yes, Biblically speaking, Damascus must fall. It is a known variable in the end time prophetic landscape. What astounds me however, is the lack of due diligence on our part as to who ‘Oscar’s’ friends are, and who all ‘has his back.’
For those still wondering, I am of course referring to Syria, and the fight we are trying to pick. Before we all start screaming ‘atrocity, atrocity, it is because of the atrocity that we’re trying to pick a fight,’ there are far worse atrocities going on right in our own country, and no one is batting an eye. I don’t see ‘Loosey Suzy’ and her ilk being threatened with annihilation for showing no more compunction about killing a baby then they would about what flavor of ice cream to order afterwards.
It’s about time we got off our high horse, gave it a sugar cube, and led it back into the barn. Let’s not pretend we are a holy nation, with a holy mandate, on a holy quest, any longer…at this juncture, we’re just embarrassing ourselves.
Perhaps, once, we were…but we’ve played that card, and any trust equity we might have had has long been spent, or rendered void due to our conduct, actions, and acceptance of evil in our midst.
‘Oscar’s’ got friends, but we’re so obsessed with making our bones and getting everyone else on the playground to realize ‘we’re really, really serious, and we’re not playing games anymore,’ that we either don’t notice, or don’t care that they’re sneaking up behind us with big sticks, ready to inflict maximum pain for picking on him.
This, I fear, will not end well, especially if we continue to pretend we’re still what we once were.
There is a marked difference between a battle and a brawl, and true warriors will tell you it is far more important to know your enemy and not underestimate him, under any circumstances, than it is to strike first, if striking first means going off halfcocked, unprepared, and with no situational awareness.
We cannot treat war as we would a bar fight, and God help us if we do.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.