Brandish real power


imagesThere are generals, colonels, lieutenants, sergeants and officers galore in Joseph Heller’s Catch 22, but the guy who wields real power is an ex-private first class.

from the movie based on the book

from the movie based on the book

Private Wintergreen’s got the power because he mans the mailroom. He turns down a general’s request to promote a major by intercepting, responding and forging communications. His decisions stand unquestioned.

(He refuses to promote the major because the candidate’s wiseguy dad, whose last name was Major,” named him “Major Major Major.” So Wintergreen reasons the military doesn’t intend to lose its only “Major Major Major Major.”)

Heller with his book

Heller with his book

Wintergreen bemoans his demotion from private first class, for going AWOL once. He whines about the loss of “status.”

But it is he who bandies more authority in the Air Force’s operations against the German-occupied Italy during WW2.

Yossarian, the fearful bombardier

Yossarian, the fearful bombardier

Maybe you don’t have rank in church hierarchy. If you’ll just go to the mail room (communications, as in “with God”), you’ll suddenly discover you brandish real power. Prayer is power, and you don’t need earthly titles to get heavenly answers. Wintergreen communicated with the authority of headquarters. When you pray, you deploy headquarters’ might.

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20 responses to “Brandish real power

  1. How are you doing? keep up the good post.

  2. Who needs hierarchy when you have access to God in an instant? I loved this one!

  3. Thank you for always encouraging us to PRAY! 🙂 God bless you!

  4. Milton my dad was one of the enlisted who was written about in catch 22. He was a member of the 321st Bombardment group
    They were Army Air Force in those days. Dad flew 67 missions in 10 months and was sent back stateside for anxiety disorder recurrent nightmares. At the end of every mission each man had a double shot of alcohol, what they needed was a Double Prayer too Jesus
    #1 Praise for making it back alive
    #2 Pray for those who didn’t and for tomorrow when they go up again.
    Dad’s pilot and co-pilot were Christians
    I’m not sure if dad gave his life to Jesus or not
    I find out when I get there. Amen

  5. Catch-22 is an interesting book. It wasn’t an easy one to get through, though it was quite funny in many parts. Great analogy you made there. It’s true—we all have the power to talk go around headquarters and talk directly to the most powerful thing in the Universe!

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