Monday, March 29, 2010

Day 88: Ready to Rumble?

Well, today is Day 88 of my running streak and I am pleased to say last week's field exercise did not break the streak. (Click on this link to see pictures from the field: FTX) When resolving to run everyday this year, I don't think I fully appreciated the sacrifices that would be necessary to maintain the commitment ... especially during our 4 days in the field. For instance, getting a run in on Day 82 meant a 3:30 am wake up for a quick rendez-vous with the treadmill before our ruck march out to the field. Day 83 meant volunteering to do special PT when most everyone else was calling it a day. And Day 84 meant figuring out a way to run a mile ... in my tent. Suddenly something occurred to me: If I can be this determined and disciplined about running, why can't I be that way about things that really matter?
"For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." (I Tim 4:8)
  • When was the last time I got up at 3:30 am to be sure I had quality time with God?
  • When was the last time I delayed rest, no matter how fatigued, because there was spiritual work to be done?
  • When was the last time I exercised God-given creativity to honor a spiritual commitment instead of justifying my failure to follow through?
This was later emphasized all the more when we were surprised by an unexpected training exercise. Having just completed my 1 mile "tent run", I had just started to change and get cleaned up for bed, when suddenly an explosion went off outside. "Gas! Gas! Gas!" was being yelled indicating this was a simulated chemical attack. Everyone had to don their gas masks and get to their designated bunker. As I stood there with my belt unbuckled realizing what was happening, I was faced with a decision: get on all my gear or get to the bunker ASAP. I compromised a bit between the two grabbing some (but not all) of my gear and heading to the bunker. Once the cadre began making their rounds to the bunkers they informed anyone that did not have gas mask, IBA (individual body armor vest), AND kevlar helmet to come out because you were dead. My platoon had 2 survivors.

Just 2.

The instructors reminded us of the seriousness of this training. "This is not a game," one said. "This could be the difference in life and death someday. The enemy will attack when you least expect it so you've got to be sure you are always ready and your equipment is never more than an arm's length away."

Isn't this also true in life? Is it sufficient to grab my helmet of salvation, but leave the shield of faith in my tent? Shouldn't we all take great care in being prepared at all times? Life comes at us fast, and we're kidding ourselves if we think we'll know when something is about to hit, or that there will be time to go back and grab what we need. But if we train ourselves everyday, diligently connect ourselves to the protection of a Mighty God, and stay alert, nothing will be able to defeat us.

So how 'bout it ... are you battle ready?

1 comment:

  1. I'm guessing you were not one of the two? Maybe you were since you were already awake?

    Sounds like quite an adventure - thanks so much for serving!!

    The thoughts in today's message are SO relevant - thank you!