On VE Day, Major General Roddy Porter MBE shares a reflection...
Major General Roddy Porter reflects on the lessons Christians can take from the inspirational life of Captain Sir Tom Moore, who passed away yesterday at the age of 100
Every crisis breeds its heroes, and this Coronavirus pandemic is no exception.
The sacrifices of our NHS staff and volunteers, and the dedication of our teachers around the UK have inspired us every day. But the exploits of the man we pause to remember today, Captain Sir Tom Moore, outshine them all.
Sir Tom, who died yesterday, personified in his 100-year-old frame, the nobility of the human spirit. He is a symbol of the 'never say die' attitude of those who, moulded in the furnace of past crises, rise to the surface to lead or inspire whenever danger or tribulation call.
Tom Moore's whole life was one of service and sacrifice, showing drive and motivation in his early years, a career in engineering was denied him by the advent of the second world war. Like so many of his generation, he endured privation and the heat of battle with determination and calm assurance. He was part of the forgotten 14th army fighting on in Burma after the war in Europe had ended.
After his war, he quietly got on with life in the army, then in business, marrying and indulging his adventurous spirit in his love of racing motorbikes, which he did with some success. And that might have been his postscript, until approaching his 100th birthday, April 6 2020 that sense of determination to 'do his bit' resurfaced, and he set off on his now famous garden walk, hoping to raise £1,000 for the NHS.
What happened next is well known: £32 million raised, an army guard of honour at the finish line, an RAF flypast and over 16,000 cards on his 100th birthday, not to mention a knighthood from the Queen and two entries in the Guinness Book of Records (for the most money raised in any individual fundraising walk, and for the oldest person to record a number one hit).
Captain Sir Tom Moore reminded me that we can all do our bit to help our neighbour or our nation.
Often the hardest part is simply starting off. Getting going. But Tom set off, and the rest is history.
His determination to make a difference reminds me that to take the first simple step in obedience to God's word, or his calling, is to unleash the full power of heaven in our support.
Is Jesus calling you to do something today, some act of obedience, or some decision to step out in faith? Why don't you take a leaf out of Captain Tom's book and take the first step and see what God will do?
Major General Roddy Porter served in the British Army for 31 years, and is now chief executive of Military Ministries International
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