Friday, April 20, 2007

The Pre-Christian Michael Bird

I know that given recent events in America this is probably not the best time to post this, but to give my friends in the blogosphere a laugh I thought I would upload this photo of me from my Army days, just to show that I was not always a NT Geek. For the record, I believe in stringent gun control laws. When I first joined the Army I weighed a remarkable 45 kg and moved up to 65 kg in about two months. It was actually during my time in the Army that I became a Christian and being a Christian in the Army was not always easy! The Army philosophy is what I call Cartesian Alcoholism: "I drink, therefore, I am!" But I developed skills (public speaking, discipline, and confidence) that prepared me for an academic career and I learnt very quickly to be able to provide an answer for the hope that you have (1 Pet. 3.15). My time in the Army (13 years all up) shaped a lot of my character and taught me how to cope with adversity, so in that sense, I am grateful for it. From now I am only a soldier of Christ and I carry a NA27 instead of an M-60 - Amen!

6 comments:

Denny Burk said...

Mike-bo.

Tony Siew said...

Hi Mike, this is a great post and I like the part about you carrying a NA27 now and not a M60 (M16?). Keep soldiering on for Christ!

J.Skjou said...

Perhaps this post should be titled: "The Origins of the Bird-Method: How I find time to write and do a thousand other things between 7am and 12am."

Thanks for sharing your past!

Michael Westmoreland-White said...

In the army (though I was a lowly clerk and then a driver in the motorpool), I rediscovered Jesus and then, thanks to being in Germany and encountering pacifist Christians, I discovered the nonviolent Jesus. It led me to become a pacifist and CO in '83, but I still do not regret my time in the army because without it I may never have taken seriously the claims of Jesus or nonviolence (the two are now completely fused in my mind).

Your ending saying sounds like a contemporary version of St. Martin of Tours, "I am a soldier of Christ and therefore it is not lawful for me to fight." Instead of becoming a martyr, as often happened, the Roman army let St. Martin out and he became a bishop. Ironically, he is in Catholic thought the patron of soldiers when he could more appropriately be the patron saint of conscientious objectors. :-)

Chris Tilling said...

This called for a kind response.

Brandon said...

I dunno, Mike. That bright red hair of yours counters the camouflage.