A wonderful article by Wlliam H. McRaven titled “Life Lessons from Navy SEAL Training” was published on the Wall Street Journal Opinion Page on May 24 and May 25, 2014. I strongly recommend you read it today – it is available WSJ.com. McRaven, ninth commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command, challenged graduates at the University of Texas commencement with ten lessons learned in the brutal reality known as SEAL training - in short, “if you want to change the world” lessons.
How closely the lessons learned by SEALS mirror what we need to learn as we strive toward perfect unity in Jesus.
- “Start off my making your bed – if you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.”
- “Find someone who will help you paddle – you can’t change the world alone – you will need some help.”
- “Measure people by the size of their heart” not their physical attributes or lack thereof.
- “Get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward.” A sugar cookie is someone who fails in training and gets washed out of the program because he or she cannot accept failure. In SEAL training, as in our Christian walk, everyone fails.
- “Don’t be afraid of the circuses.” Failure in training, guaranteed for everyone, leads to extra calisthenics and exhaustion: embrace it and you will soon be the strongest in the class.
- “Sometimes you have to slide down the obstacle head-first.” Never give up on the obstacle course of love in Christ. Find a way to love.
- “Don’t back down from the sharks.” Terrifying as evil is, if we punch them in the nose with love, the enemy swims away if they don’t smell blood.
- “You must be your very best in your darkest moment.” The Holy Spirit guides in ways we cannot imagine until the crisis comes.
- “Start singing when you are up to you neck in mud.” The time in trouble will pass more quickly.
- “Don’t ever, ever ring the bell.” To SEALS, this means never give up. NEVER!
May God bless America, and may God bless our training as unity SEALS under the commands of Jesus!