National Prayer Breakfast Stresses Spiritual Readiness
February 26, 2010
Maj. Gen. Karl R. Horst, Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region and Military District of Washington commander, was the guest speaker Tuesday at a Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall National Prayer Breakfast at the Fort Myer Officers' Club.
JBM-HH Commander Col. Carl R. Coffman Jr., introduced Horst, citing the leadership roles and positions the general took on before coming to MDW.
"Most important," Coffman said, is that Horst is "grounded in the faith of the Lord." He went on to relate a time when the two of them served together overseas and how the general was fearless in confronting the enemy at one point. "An individual who isn't grounded in faith doesn't make a decision like that," the colonel said.
Taking the podium, Horst downplayed the incident, explaining that Coffman left out the fact the group had the advantage of being accompanied by two Apache gunships.
Horst evoked the biblical story of Isaiah and his visitation by God in his remarks, explaining how the story inspires his military service. Isaiah, Horst recounted, encountered his maker in 742 B.C., a time when if you saw the Lord you knew your days were numbered.
When God asked, "Who will go for us'" Isaiah said, "Here I am Lord. Send me," the general related. "These are words that allow me to continue as a Soldier," Horst said.
"God speaks to us in unusual ways," the general continued, explaining how the theme of his talk came to him when he was jogging by the Jefferson Memorial and in quick succession saw a tree "crushed" by the winter storm and a bumper sticker on a nearby parked car which read: "If you live your life like there is no God, then you better be right."
Horst said he looked at the downed tree, the bumper sticker and then back again, saying to himself, "OK, I get it."
"Are we ready to meet our Lord God when that day arrives'" Horst asked rhetorically.
The general said there are four things that must be addressed before a Soldier goes into battle. These "pillars" are the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual dimensions of an individual.
"If the spiritual dimension isn't met a Soldier isn't ready to go into battle," Horst said.
The general also made a plea for religious tolerance, sharing an anecdote about a temporary standoff between American personnel and Iraqi nationals in Karbala.
"Each of us has our religious rights and needs," he emphasized. "You have to treat everybody with the same degree of respect that you want."
"I challenge you to reflect, renew and recommit to spiritual readiness as Christian soldiers." Horst concluded.