I was sent a clip recently of former Navy Seal Jocko Willink addressing some troops. He was presented with the question about what they should do when the situation is not ideal. The person asking the question was speaking about the uncomforable conditions surrounding their current base accomodations. Lt. Commander Willink replied, that for him, he welcomed these conditions because they made him and those around him stronger.
As a football coach, I hear the same complaints every spring and fall during the first week of practice from players. The helmet is too tight, the grass has burrs in it, the shoulder pads chaffe, the mosquitos are too big, and if they were honest, the coaches are asking too much of me.
What these players are struggling with is the fact life is not a cakewalk. We all find ourselfs in situations where it simply sucks. Willink points out these situations are better than any other in forging great teams. As he puts it, Boot Camp sucks; then you go onto Jump School, which sucks even more; then you go into Special Forces training, which sucks even more; until, you land in actual combat which is the worst by far.
Soldiers become closer and better prepared at each stage of this progression. Likewise, a team develops its identity in a similar way as it struggles together through the drills, summer heat and uncomfortable aspects of practice. The process will wean out some and it will provide opportunities for differing forms of leadership whereby each member can discern where they can help to make the team better.
As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 1 Chorinthians 12:20-25
As Christians, we are on a team with the goal of reaching Heaven. God is the Head Coach, Jesus is the Defensive Coordinator and the Holy Spirit is the Offensive Coordinator. Together they work to coach us through the pitfalls of life.
We sharpen ourselves through overcoming social and personal obstacles which challenge us and our faith. We are tempted by sin and often fail. However, we must pick ourselves back up and do our part for the team. Made in the image of God, we were each created for a purpose and it is incumbent upon us to discover where we can do our part to assist the team.
Each of us must realize we have something to offer and to be respective of the talents which everyone brings to the table. We need to realize the trials before us are opportunities to grow stronger in our faith and to draw closer to our Christian teammates.
I like the way Lt. Commander Willink ended his speech. "So, when something sucks. Good! It is going to make me tougher and us stronger. So, bring it. Cold showers for everyone!"