Monday, February 22, 2010

Captain's Orders!

‘“First of all, I do not want you to give in to the pressure of the moment. Whenever you’re hurting bad, just hang in there. Finish the day. Then, if you’re still feeling bad, think about it long and hard before you decide to quit. Second, take it one day at a time. One evolution at a time.“Don’t let your thoughts run away with you, don’t startplanning to bail out because you’re worried about the future and how much you can take. Don’t look ahead to the pain. Just get through the day, and there’s a wonderful career ahead of you.”

This was Captain Maguire, a man who would one day serve as deputycommander of the U.S. Special Operations in Pacific Command (COMPAC). With his twin-eagles insignia glinting on his collar, Captain Maguire instilled in us the knowledge of what really counted.’

---Marcus Lutrell, Lone Survivor

When my son came across those words while reading the book aloud to the family, he might as well have jumped up, got in my face, and yelled, because my spoon froze in midair over the large bowl of carmel popcorn. Immediately my mind began racing to something our Lord said in Matthew: “Take no thought for the morrow, for the morrow takes thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” I know my son read more, because I saw his lips move and I heard his voice, but for me, I was stuck on those wise words from the Captain.
My day begins the instant my alarm sounds. Those four beeps (and all the subsequent ones, if I don’t heed the first four!), signal the beginning of a new, jam-packed day. My “to-do” list can be unbelievably long, sometimes entirely unrealistically huge. With several loads of laundry a day (that’s a normal day; when someone is sick, it increases dramatically), several students to teach and others to moniter, meals, cleanup, etc., I’ve got my hands terribly full. Add a bit of ministry and some travelling to the mix, and you’ve got a very daunting schedule.

If I tried to take the whole week on at once, I might as well go right back to bed. It would be an impossible task, one I wouldn’t even want to consider. But my Lord does not expect me to take on the whole week at once; He only asks that I take one day at a time. Perhaps even one step at a time.

I jog about two miles four or five days a week, but it is no picnic for me. I picked it up a little over ten months ago, and It’s still very hard work. Many days, I don’t feel like running at all, and many times I am ready to give up halfway through. It is during those times that I concentrate on my stride. I take one step at a time, one breath at a time. That way, and some days it’s only that way, I am able to finish.

“Don’t let your thoughts run away with you, don’t start planning to bail out because you’re worried about the future and how much you can take. Don’t look ahead to the pain. Just get through the day…”

When life seems steep, concentrate on one step at a time: it's Captain's Orders!

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