Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Basic Training 101

This week has been like basic training 101. The training manual spells it out: Trials equal proven character and hope. A bad, self absorbed boss is a great chance to exercise humility. Cranky customers help train a servant’s heart. Long days with short staff produces perseverance. These tests are a great proving ground for character.

The problem with tests is that sometimes we fail them. For me this leads to berating self and being angry with my failure. Components of the test seem designed to make me fail. Realizing my heart isn’t a servants heart and that it’s easier to curse than praise causes me to cry out to my commander. I know what the Training Manual says I should do. I fall back on previous habits and fail to implement current strategy. I fail and get angry then getting angry makes me angrier. At times it doesn’t feel like the training is worth it; doesn’t feel like they enlisted the right guy.

Times like this I am glad I have documentation indicating I’ve been chosen for the position and guaranteed continuous enrollment. Once in always in they say; once an Eagle Scout always an Eagle; once a Marine always a Marine. In some way the affiliation merits the respect and permanence of the position.

There is a peace in being part of the team, in knowing that there is a body of individuals that have your back same as you have theirs. This makes the testing easier. The failures sting but they don’t permanently damage. Growth will happen in spite of missteps.

Training camp sucks. When pushed hard mind and body reel. Puking and giving up seem logical outcomes. Membership in the team means you don’t give up. You can’t fall away though you may stumble badly. At the end of the day you gain new strength and fly like an eagle.

“Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength,
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.”

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