My brother Jonathan is a Staff Sergeant in the Civil Air Patrol, and just returned from two weeks of getting himself yelled at. He survived and thrived at Cadet Summer Encampment and Ground Search and Rescue Specialty School.

Relational biases aside, I consider Jonathan to be on the short list of young men who have taken the time and effort to discern their individual, God-given, world-changing life purposes. And he’s living it out. If you ask him, he’ll tell you that his purpose is to be a Rescuer.

For him, summer encampment was a big step toward his grand purpose of both physically and spiritually saving people.

He came back with his shoulders back a little farther, standing a little taller, and eye contact a little keener. He stood up when I went into his room for a chat.

As he told me about the exercises, the maneuvers, and the scenarios, I eyed his freshly pressed uniform, ready for the next time he needs it.

“What does this mean?”

I’m learning a new vocabulary: GSARS, CQ, SPAATZ… Jonny explains them all, and I try to keep them straight.

“And what does this one mean?” I ask, fingering the black cord he has looped around his left sleeve.

“It means I can save your life.”

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