2A74AF0C00000578-0-image-a-11_1436696962342 The Conductor proudly stepped up to the music stand, flipping his tuxedo tails as he tapped his baton to gain the orchestra’s attention. Prior to his arrival, the agents were testing their instruments and imagining what actions the chorus would inspire from those who enjoyed their tempests. The Conductor looked slyly at the audience before twisting like an owl his attention back to the agents. With both hands now high in the air and starting ever so softly, the innocent and virgin of ear were lured into his tantalizing tempo. As the instruments combined and grew louder and more audacious, the innocent became troubled. The music was in full tilt at the Conductor’s dance and the innocent looked for places to flee with the hope of giving their ears rest. Those long in tooth and animated by the tune became enraged at the lack of interest and fear exhibited by the innocent. They sought to publicize and expose the innocent in an effort to overwhelm their senses with the poison that now fills every window, hallway, vehicle and headset. Those who refused to comply were told “Hold your tongue, change your attitude or be mustered out!” Unfortunately, this was the calm before the proverbial crescendo. The Conductor who the agents called Prince and Master, knew all too well that the predictable end of his master piece was moments away. Now in what seemed like a hemorrhage, he waved for the final notes. The rise of the nefarious concerto left the innocent dead and the others celebrating as if divining a pagan god. Do you hear the refrain? Can you hum the chorus? Which group do you identify with the most?

When evil rises to a global or total scale it often times will oftentimes set us back by tens and sometimes hundreds of years. Yet after it is destroyed, lovers of freedom can be motivated to progress as seen after WWII with conversations regarding the “Technical Singularity”. This simple historical fact, is both true on the global scale and on an individual scale. The Bible has and will continue to serve as a type of Captain’s Log for tracking evil’s paths and methods. In today’s society, we are likely to learn or be taught that evil is a dogmatic fallacy made up by white preachers. Unfortunately, this is exactly what the enemy wants you to believe.

In my book, “From Hide and Seek to Marco Polo: My Brother’s Shoes,” I write of a war experience called “Scenario 6: Bad Weather”. I discuss how war can produce good soldiers who can “smell” when bad things are about to happen. It is almost a sense that is developed through the combat experience. For example: during OIF III, we had an E-6 (SSG) who was the NCOIC of a platoon convoy. By the end of that one year deployment, his entire platoon had to be reconstituted because everyone in it was either killed or so severely injured that they could not return to duty. The two soldiers left standing at the end of the day were the platoon leader and the E-6. Both sustained concussions and walking injuries as well but lived to fight another day. The battle feats of this platoon are the stories of several books that should be written in the future but I want to pull out one person from this platoon to demonstrate my point on observing the rise of evil.

ISIS-Execution Before I share the two experiences that involved the platoon SGT, I must define the word evil. For the purposes of this blog we will understand the definition of evil to come from the noun use of the word: “profound immorality, wickedness, and depravity, especially when regarded as a supernatural force.” We must also understand that war represents a rising evil in the geographical location where it occurs and then spreads at alarming rates and in vile ways. The most obvious example for us to use as a comparison is the current rise of ISIS that we read and see covered by media outlets. What we often miss in the press is that each war is shaped and sponsored by a spiritual battle that is both extraordinary and hidden from the rest of creation as we perceive it. As evil as war can be, there is a greater evil. The greater evil is the one that rises in such a way as to take out as many human lives as quickly and efficiently as it can with rarely a blip of concern on the faces of the rest of society. Therefore, look around your cities, your states, your country and the world and ask yourself, “Where is the greatest loss of human life taking place and how are those lives being snuffed out?” If those can be identified, you now have your thumb on the pulse of evil.

Back in the HMMWV with the SSG, we are now capable of looking back in history and answering some those questions. Saddam Hussein’s regime had performed some horrific atrocities on both the Muslim people of Iraq and the Kurds. The level of loss was genocidal just based on what was being reported. Often it is what is not reported that is the true representation of evil. For these reasons and others that have been debated since the Gulf War in 1990-1991, our good SSG finds himself on patrol less than a month into deployment and on a mission near a canal at 3:00 am. The command came across the radio to change from night vision to regular optics and human eye sight. As the driver was taking off his night vision goggles, he did not see the perpendicular canal he was approaching. In fact, neither did the gunner or any of the other passengers. As the up armored vehicle began to plunge into the near freezing waters of the canal, the SSG sensed something was gravely wrong and at the last possible second opened his door and escaped the fatal events of that early morning. The driver, the gunner, the fourth passenger and a Fire Rescue Soldier all died that morning. The SSG was later MEDEVAC to Anaconda due to hypothermia along with 14 other soldiers from his company that jumped into the canal in an effort to save the soldiers.

Eight months later, on a patrol to secure voting sites for Iraqis to vote in democracy and around the same time of morning, the SSG was again in the TC seat of his vehicle when it struck an IED. Everyone in the vehicle was killed except the SSG. He was thrown from the vehicle when it split in half from the explosion. He landed in a ditch over 15 feet away from the burning vehicle. It is safe to say that the SSG I am talking about has seen and understands evil at a level most people will never experience in their lifetime. He has seen it up close and personal and would probably say it almost won. When we returned from OIF III in January 2006, the SSG decided to become a civilian and served in one of the gymnasiums on post handing out towels to sweaty soldiers.

Like any good narrative, each chapter can contain its own crescendo. For the SSG mentioned in the above stories, his chapter came to a close in 2006. My prayer is that this SSG found the rest he was looking for from the tempest times he experienced.

As we look across our once great nation, it is critical that we Christians and more importantly we Christian Soldiers recognize the signs for the times and be able to “smell bad” or predetermine the motions for the conductor of this world. We must be wiser than the evil as it rises. Like high tide as it comes into the beach and washes a violent undertow, we Christians need to be cautious not to be brought under the spell of the god of this world.

For far too long we have been lulled to sleep by the music of false teachings, prideful “Christian” leaders, and people who are really in this walk only for the attention. We have left the Bible reading to others, fasting to devoted people of other religions and prayer to the times we think we really need it. We have bought our tickets to the show but God is forbidden to come with us. We leave Him with our faithful neighbor or our dedicated family member with the hope that they will still be there when we return.

This entry came to mind as one of my daughters ran around the house singing “Be careful little eyes what you see, Be careful little ears what you hear, Be careful little feet where you go, Be careful little hands what you do.”

Don’t let the melody of this world distract you from worshipping the one true God!

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. – John 16:33

Mijikai Mason
Disclaimer: The thoughts and views published on the Veterans to Christ blog are those of Mijikai Mason and in no way are meant to represent the United States Army or the Armed Forces.

Bio: Mijikai Mason is an Ordained Southern Baptist minister and Chaplain in the United States Army. He has been in the Army for 26 years both as an enlisted Soldier and now as an Officer. He has been stationed at various bases in the United States and in United States Army Garrison Schweinfurt, Germany. He holds an undergraduate degree in Religion from the University of Mobile, a Master of Divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in Theology and Evangelism and a Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Webster University. Chaplain (MAJ) Mijikai Mason was selected by the Army in 2013, to become a Family Life Chaplain and began his service in this field starting 15 May 2015. He is the Deputy ESC Chaplain and Family Life Chaplain for the 593 Expeditionary Support Command at Joint Base Lewis McCord. He has deployed four times: Desert Storm (1991), Iraq twice (2005-2006; 2007-2008), and Afghanistan (2012-2013). He has a total of 42 months deployed in combat and logistics operations. Mijikai and his wife, Ashley, have been married for 17 years this May and live near Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington with their four daughters.