I’m reminded of the day that I sat with my family surrounding me at the San Francisco Airport as we waited for my boarding call. The night before, I had spent a sleepless night. My subconscious mind undoubtedly trying to manage my feelings of anxiety wondering if I had made the right decision to join the Army. As we sat there in silence, I looked into the worrisome face of my mother; masking the face of my own fear of the unknown. New Jersey seemed like a world away. I didn’t know at the time that my being shipped there was by the military’s strategic design. It was only by being sequestered from all that was familiar – comfortable, could I focus solely on mastering the skills needed to be an effective soldier. BECOMING a good soldier requires DISCIPLINE as does this process that I’m on to evolve and become the woman that God destined me to be.
I went thru Basic Training with a Platoon of two hundred women who were from all over the United States. We were all very different only sharing this one commonality. Some were there to get away from home. Some to stay out of trouble. Some to see the world outside of their tiny town with limited opportunity. Some for education they couldn’t afford to pay for. Some of us were actually there because we wanted to be soldiers. With the intentional decision to join the Army also came intentional levels of commitment to the process, which became obvious as we moved through our training. Our days were long and hard as our Drill Sergeants pushed us through each phase of training and mercilessly drove us to new levels of physical endurance. There were many days that I wanted to cry, quit and go home to the comfort of the life that I had left behind. Only those of us who were able to develop a soldier’s mentality survived the rigors of Basic Training. There were many for whatever the reason couldn’t take it. Rather than a speedy discharge, they were reassigned indefinitely to the Training Discharge Program. Once you sign on with the Military you are the disposable property of the U.S. Government. They spent their days digging trenches that seemed unnecessary and cleaning out our Porta potty’s all over the Base. On the day that our Platoon marched to our Graduation we passed their work details still on the side of the road digging ditches. I cannot imagine how heart wrenching that was for them covered with dirt and stench, to see us in our dress uniforms, heads held high – victorious. If they had just stuck it out.
Now all these many years later, I find myself in Boot Camp again. Spiritual Boot Camp! The process and the commitment to it is essentially the same. The attainment of spiritual empowerment to do the will of God only comes through personal consecration. Setting the world aside to pursue the life that God has called me to. A choice that I now make. That choice reflects a necessary change in personal priorities. The mediocrity that I carried into the Soul Fast along with the lack of life fulfilment or attainment of spiritual purpose was directly related to my enmeshment in the world. Being conflicted, inconsistent and confused on some matters because my focus has not been just on God, I’ve been trying to hold on to some of the world too. It is impossible for the light of God to fully shine in my life straddling the fence. Having one foot in the Kingdom and one in the world, just doesn’t work. Consecration puts my soul under the management of my spirit that is governed by God. It makes provision for God’s will in my life to be executed from a spiritual perspective as I am led, guided and directed by Him. Not by my interpretation of it. This life is not frivolous one nor was my redemption cheap – it was bought with a price. The greatest honor in this world or the next is to have served. However, I must serve well!