As most know yesterday was my last day as a Tyler Police Officer. I retired 20 years to the day I was sworn in by Chief Bob Bond. I certainly have some mixed emotions because during my career I have acquired some great relationships and had the opportunity to do some really cool stuff. There is very little I regret about my career. It has been great to say the least. From foot chases and pursuits down railroad tracks (twice), to rolling 5 deep with the Bike Unit to get ice cream.
There have also been tough times as well that I will never forget and that have had tremendous impacts on my life. Times of dealing with the sickness and loss of our son and having my brothers in blue just show up to sit for days in a hospital waiting room and grieve, praying together as another one's wife goes into brain surgery, preaching the funeral of another ones wife who passed away and being scared to death as we wait to hear the status of one that was shot by a fleeing suspect right before our eyes. These are memories that will always be burned in my mind and heart.
Months before yesterday I began to really think about what I wanted to say to these men and women that I have gone to battle with and that I consider more than friends but a special kind of family. There was one thing I did not want to leave un said. Here is a summary of what I wanted to convey to those that hold a dear place in my heart.
To my Brother and Sisters in Blue,
I have few regrets in my 20 year career and I don't want to end with one so I want to share something with you that I feel I must say. I believe it was John Piper that said the greatest of men and all their great deeds will be all but a tiny footnote in history in all of eternity. I know and realize that my presence will soon be a faint memory as a Tyler Police Officer and I am perfectly ok with that. It is just life. However I do pray that what follows is something that will not soon be a distant memory.
Many of us began in this line of work because we see the brokenness of this world. We see injustice and we are constantly faced with the obvious depravity of mankind. We see it more than the average citizen and we cannot deny this is a fallen world. We see unspeakable things that people do to each other and is proof that this world is fallen. We also began this line of work because we believe in justice. We believe that when the laws of our great state and our nation are broken we are to strive to bring justice. It is an oath we swore to uphold and we risk our lives to seek it because it is that important.
However there is a greater law than the laws of our state and country and that is the Law of God. A law that we all have broken. God's Word is clear that we all have sinned and fall short of His glory. And if we believe in justice we have to see the truth here. If we have broken the law then justice must be pursued just like the laws of our state and country. The justice that God requirers is death, eternal death. God's Word also tells us that the wages of sin is death. We have to understand the God's justice is perfect and the breaking of His law has severe consequences that apply to us all.
However the good news is that God is not only a God of Justice but He is one of Grace as well. And His grace is manifested in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, His one and only Son. Because God is a God of Justice and grace He does not simply overlook sin, He demands punishment for it but for those that repent and believe in Him that punishment is placed on Christ. God's perfect justice is satisfied in one of two ways; either by unrepentant sinners being condemned to hell for all eternity or God's justice is satisfied by Christ going to the Cross and taking God's full wrath so that those that believe in Him will never taste eternal death.
God's Word tells us also that He that knew no sin became sin so that we could be reconciled to God. What great love that God has for us that He would do such a thing for those that have willingly broken His law. The Cross of Christ is a beautiful thing and is where the perfect justice of God intersects with the perfect Grace of God. What He requires in return is belief. This is not just seeing Jesus as a savior but seeing Him as your Lord.
I pray that if you remember nothing else, you remember this and that you believe in Christ.
He has showed you, O man, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness
and to walk humbly with your God?
Be Warriors, keep your eyes on the King of kings.
No regrets! Your brother,