Thursday, October 8, 2009

Struggle for Supremacy

"The local war between Austria and Serbia was connected with Franz Ferdinand & Sophie, but the Great War was not; the world war, which was not really the same conflict, was caused by the struggle for supremacy among the great European powers. The desire to be number one may have been a deplorable reason for starting a war, but it was neither surprising nor puzzling that it was what motivated the powers. Germany deliberately started a European war to keep from being overtaken by Russia." -David Fromkin-

In the ninth chapter of Luke, we see that the disciples began to argue amongst themselves as to who will be the greatest of the disciples. Jesus rebukes them and gives them a principle built upon the physical example of a child stating, "For he who is least among you all—he is the greatest." I cannot help but think of this example from Christ as I study the maelstrom that developed into World War I. You have a bunch of different nations and groups of people all concerned about power and the need to be respected. Each of them willing to go to war in order to protect themselves and their stature amongst the European world as well as eventually the entire world. Millions of lives would eventually falter as a result of leaders and nations unwilling to take second place to anyone else. I then reflect upon my own life and see the destruction that the desire to be "number one" has caused in my own life. I am no different then the disciples or even guys like Berchtold, Falkenhayn, Conrad, Grey, Jagow, or Moltke - in that I am more then willing to fight when it concerns my status yet unwilling to lay down my life, status, or prestige for the sake of the greater good. How many people have I hurt? How far have I strayed from giving Christ true Lordship of my life? How much have I simply missed the point of being a disciple - simply because the struggle for supremacy is the banner I most often fight under. Is it ever my intention to be "the least" as Christ calls me to be? Would the conflagration of WWI have started if the leaders of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Serbia, France, and England been willing to take the path of humility? What destruction could I avoid if I sought the path that Christ called for instead of the path tread by the European powers of 1914? These are the questions I wrestle today as I seek to learn from the past instead of repeating it for the future.