A War Hero You've Never Heard Of

Monday, April 01, 2013
Well, first, yesterday was an amazing day at Next Level. For one thing, we set an all time attendance record, which is cool, but we're still tallying the numbers of people who made spiritual commitments, which is even more cool. As I type this, a small army of volunteers is in the NLC office sorting and tabulating. Tomorrow, I'll give you a full report on the weekend!

For today, one more post on our trip to the Gettysburg battlefield last week.

As you can imagine or as you have seen yourself, the battlefield is lined with statues of men who displayed valor and heroism those three days in July of 1863. Many of them are names familiar to even the most casual of Civil War buffs...Lee, Meade, Longstreet, Chamberlain.

But there is one statue that is unique. Out of the hundreds of statues at Gettysburg, it is the only one which memorializes a civilian. Here it is:

His name is John Burns. Here is his story.

Burns was a 69 year old veteran of the War of 1812 who lived in Gettysburg. He was a fierce Union loyalist and angry that the Confederates had invaded his town. So, on the first day of battle, he grabbed his old musket, headed to the battlefield, found the first commander he could and asked to join the fight.

That's right - 69 year old dude grabs his old gun and goes to war.

Amused, the commander stuck him in the woods, where he would have a better chance of avoiding sunstroke and bullets. First thing John Burns did was find a wounded soldier and convinced him to trade his more effective rifle for Burns' flintlock musket.

And then the old guy fought. He was wounded, but he fought on and on all day.

Afterwards, he became a hero in the Union.

Why tell that story?

Because you can lead and serve and make a difference, even if:

-You don't appear to fit the part.
-You are "old"
-You don't have a title
-You don't have all the training you might need
-Others have a better "pedigree" than you
-People laugh you off at first

If God has called you to something, and wise friends confirm it, go for it!

He has every resource you need.

And in the process, you might just become a hero!

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