Saturday, May 17, 2008

William K. Harrison

Consider the example of Lt. Gen. William K. Harrison who was the most decorated soldier in the 30th infantry division, rated by Gen. Eisenhower as the number one infantry division in the second world war. Gen. Harrison was the first American to enter Belgium during that war, which he did at the head of Allied forces. He received every decoration for valor except the Congressional Medal of Honor -- including the DSC, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for Valor, and the Purple Heart. He was one of the few generals wounded in combat during world war 2.

When the Korean conflict began, Harrison served as Chief of Staff in the UN Command and because of his character and calm self-control was ultimately Eisenhower's choice to head the negotiations that led to the end of the war.

Gen. Harrison was a soldier's soldier. He led a busy life but he was also an amazing man of the Word of God. When he was a twenty year old cadet at West Point he began reading the Old Testament through once and the New Testament through four times annually. He kept this pace up even in the midst of war, and maintained his commitment by catching up during the two or three day respites for replacement and refitting that came after major battles. When the war ended, he was right on schedule.

When he lost use his eyesight at the age of ninety to the point he could no longer read, he had read the Old Testament seventy times and the New Testament 280 times. No wonder his godliness and wisdom were legendary. In fact, for eighteen years he led the Officers Christian Fellowship (OCF).

Harrison's story demonstrates that it is possible, even for the busiest men, to train ourselves systematically in God's Word. His life also is a demonstration of the benefits of a godly mind in the body of a godly man. Those who knew him best claimed that every area of his life (including the domestic, spiritual, professional, etc.) and every problem he faced was approached from the standpoint of what Scripture teaches about it.

The call to disciplined manhood for the purpose of godliness is not a call to legalism. It is a call to train ourselves in God's Word -- by listening to its preaching, taking notes, checking cross references, reading the Bible regularly, engaging in study systematically and accountably, memorizing the Word, and so on.


Anonymous said...

I just read this almost word for word this morning in Disciplines of a Godly Man by R. Kent Hughes

Jyying said...

Pray so for the boys in my family---a big one and a young one.