Training Ground


It wasn’t too bad, looking back. The success’ outweigh the tough parts. That’s the way it looks now anyway. Like boot camp for everyone on the planet, you’re drafted and you have to do it. Just show up and survive. Some don’t survive, some don’t even show up. The draft notice doesn’t come in the mail, it’s not on your email or Facebook. It just comes and it’s pretty obvious what it is.

Report to recruit depot and get prepared for the toughest, most interesting time of your life. When it’s over, you can stand tall and be someone that did the right thing. Fall out, get your uniforms and find your barracks.

“What is Jack talking about now! It sounds like going to basic training”…yes?” Basic training for all of mankind and there is nothing harder nor more rewarding. Jack has been taking a University Class on Philosophy and it approaches him in strange ways. The last lecture was on Emmanuel Kant. He stated that the greatest example of Moral law was someone sacrificing for another person. Not a cause. Learning how to embrace that concept and make it our operational motive is very hard and can be the only thing we have to decide in this world. A moral decision. Akin somewhat to the decision to lie to a Nazi guard looking for the Jewish man hiding in your home. Do you lie or do you tell the truth which is a basis for moral decision? Of course, telling the Gestapo the reasoning behind their miscreant behavior would not go well, even though that itself would be telling truth.

These are basic things for maturity, to wrestle with our reasoning. To seek out a ‘basic training’ that will tell us a way to think and act that fulfills, founded in a moral law. A law of civilization. Some folks will say it is tied to survival to assure survival of community and family. Sounds reasonable. Define survival, that’s all that’s required. Evolution aficionados like to use the old tooth and claw to describe survival of the fittest.

That sort of evolution works for watching trees fall when dead and what happens to the surrounding forest.

Seems rather random to most of us. What if it isn’t? The old silly question: “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, is there a sound?” What a ridiculous question! As though sound were a philosophic decision. Can you discern the timpani of that statement?

There are decisions that echo throughout our lives. Often seemingly small decisions. A friend of Jack’s, a very good fellow writer put it in 20 words: ““What can I do? What should I do? What is God telling me to do? What am I willing to do?” Pretty astute. How indeed do we know what God is telling us to do? It’s a thing that we are taught in basic. Simple in some ways. Keep our mouths shut and pay attention. Don’t call the sergeant sir and don’t embellish the tasks you have been given. That’s boot camp. Now, we are out of boot and aware that survival depends on paying attention to everything around us. That is key, not fear of the unknown, awareness of who you are, where you are and what can and should you do. At this time the communication is critical. Jack knows these things as he was communications man/radio operator. Handy skill to help him listen. Some of the important messages had such weak signal strength it was listening intently that made it clear. Shut out the static, the thrum of the ventilator fan and the hatch noise. Stop listening to the ‘world’ and be still.

As is taught in scripture, it’s not the thunder, the wind and the earthquake that our Lord uses to speak to us. It’s a still small voice and as though you are remembering a conversation you had 15 seconds ago. “Turn left up here” “keep your eyes open” “go visit him, you have the time” “walk slowly and stay alert” These are a few that Jack remembers. Falls in the category of what is God telling me to do. It usually begins by believing those faint messages are there for you. You alone. Keep listening. He will tell you he loves you right here, right now. Often He will tell Jack to do something that either seems imposible or simply, Jack does not want to believe what he just heard. It’s ok. The Lord is patient and kind. We can hear Him if we want to. He isn’t going to tell us to go to Africa (usually) and it’s things that we can do to make things right. He’s pretty good. Jack

One thought on “Training Ground

  1. Beautiful Yes!
    Sometimes, or most times, what He tells us to do goes against what we desire to do. So very hard to die to everything in us. He was the One that died so that we might live spiritually again. Not what He wanted as He cried, “not My will but Yours Father!” When we die to everything we want for His sake we are free, we love Him back with the love He gave us. That is our boot camp!!! I am learning to listen for His still small voice and trust Him a new!!


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