Commander Maurice Buford, U.S. Navy Ret. ’12 (SBL), brought words of encouragement as Regent University celebrated chapel on Veteran’s Day, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. He spoke on the subject of “they had an incredible resolve to serve,” in remembrance to the “pedigree of warriors” the United States has produced who have refused to shrink or back down, even during the times that try mens’ souls. He explored three key elements that undergird those who have the resolve to serve.
The first element, Buford says, is responding to a call. He cited the example of Pat Tillman who turned down a multimillion dollar contract with the NFL to serve in the United States Army.
“Tillman and other vets have a fierce call on their lives that is bigger than money, power or fame.” said Buford, “They understood that the worst thing in life is not death. It’s a life without purpose. What is your call? Are you ready to say ‘yes,’ to His call and His way?”
Buford says saying “yes,” can require sacrifice, that Christians are not to ask God to bless what they are doing, but instead do what God is blessing. The second element, Buford says, is warriors show a “this too should pass” type of courage, or “next-level” bravery. He cites 2 Timothy 1:7, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and of a sound mind.”
“It’s that type of courage that says, ‘I don’t know when, I don’t know where, I don’t know why, but I believe that in some kind of way, God will make a way out of no way and this too shall pass! This is the type of courage you display in harm’s way.”
The last element, Buford says, is having a courage that makes you a victor, not a victim. He challenged the audience to ask whether they had the courage to be their brother’s and sister’s keepers, no matter what, in good times or bad.
“We have to have the courage to go against the grain and go for that call,” said Buford. “Even though it doesn’t make any sense, you know God said it, and that made it so. It takes walking by faith, not by sight. It takes the courage to say “yes” to the things of God.”
Buford explains that Christians hold this faith through perspective. He says they should not see the world as it is, but as they are.
“God has called us to be renewed in our mind, to be renewed in our vision, for God has given us a new spirit and a new insight and we should be that light, that city and that power in the midst of darkness,” said Buford.
Buford encouraged the chapel audience to thank veterans for their sacrifice and convert that thanks into tangible acts. He served in the Untied States Navy as a chaplain, on many assignments. After earning undergraduate and graduate degrees from several institutions, Buford earned his Doctorate of Organizational Leadership from Regent University. He says he and his wife endeavor to provoke God’s people into their divine purpose.