Rick Rescorla, Discipline, and the Gospel

ImageMost of you remember 9/11 and the horrible images of burning buildings and people leaping to their deaths.  It was a horrific day.  I can remember the exact location I was on the campus of D.B.U., my sophomore year of college, when those images were burned into my memory for the first time.  Like every tragic event, the emotions, intrigue, and pain everyone felt was hard to put into words.  Yet, often in suffering a form of heroism is bred and that day was no exception. 

Amongst the heroes was a guy named Rick Rescorla.  Rick kept over twenty-seven hundred employees of the Morgan Stanley investment firm safe by helping them calmly exit the World Trade Center.  Rick was a model of leadership, giving clear orders on his megaphone to keep people moving in the most efficient manner possible.  It is even said he sang fight songs he had learned as a boy in England to keep people cheerful as they made their way down ten flights of stairs.  At the end of it, he gave his life; he was in the tower when it fell, making one final sweep to ensure that everyone else had made it out alive. 

The heroism Rick displayed that day had its roots in years of preparation.  Convinced an attack would come someday, Rick had the entire Morgan Stanley team rehearse an evacuation plan every three months.  As a former soldier, Rick understood the importance of drills and practice making perfect.  Rick didn’t simply try to save people in the middle of a crisis; he trained in such a way that he was able to.  Rick understood discipline. 

Discipline is one of those things that is RARELY ENJOYABLE, but almost ALWAYS PROFITABLE.  As one writer says, “to cultivate discipline means doing what we don’t want to do to give ourselves the freedom to do what we need to do.”  The question really is not whether we have discipline or not?  We all do to some varying degree.  The real question is whether our disciplines and habits are leading us towards true discipleship?  What a great question to think about in this regards!  Are the habits I’m currently embracing putting me in a position that I look more like Christ today, than I did yesterday?  Do those habits, while demonstrating outward conformity, match up with what’s going on inwardly as God seeks to change me on the inside first?     

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