What a difference a day can make—or a couple of days. Just check out the picture on my post from a few days ago, and this one from yesterday. Snow and ice and temperatures in the teens one day and then a walk by the lake in balmy spring-like weather the next.
When I’m stuck in the midst of winter and ice storms—metaphorical or real—it’s hard for me not to get bogged down and feel like they’ll go on forever.
Which makes me think of something I came across in one of the books I’m currently reading, Lone Survivor. (Apparently instead of really in-depth movie and book reviews, I’m going to do reports of, “This struck me while reading…” Or watching, or whatever. That seems to be the trend in my posts lately.)
Anyway, I’m reading Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell, the book on which the current movie is based. It’s the true story, written by Navy SEAL Luttrell, of a mission in Afghanistan that only he survives.
According to my Kindle, I’ve read about 38% of the book and we’re just starting the fateful mission in Afghanistan. Luttrell first gives a lot of detailed information about his SEAL training—enough to make me wonder how anyone survives it. Or how anyone is dedicated and driven enough to want to survive it. The majority of his class didn’t make it through—and that’s true of every group of candidates.
And that’s where I got stuck on one particular gem of wisdom. One of the SEALS’ trainers warned that the ones who quit had often started thinking about all the days of training that lay ahead of them. Instead of just focusing on the task at hand, they would worry about what was coming, how much worse it would get, what would happen in the days ahead.
Luttrell, who stuck it out to become a full-fledged SEAL, heeded the warning and tried to always focus on making it through the next moment, the task at hand. He tried not to allow himself to think any further ahead. And somehow, he always found the strength to make it through one more moment, one more step, one more stroke.
I need to heed that warning in the ice storms—and all the other times when I look so far ahead at all the burdens to come that I want to quit. Even better, I need to listen to Jesus when He says to take no thought of tomorrow, because tomorrow will take care of itself. (Matthew 6:34 NIV) If He gives me that assurance I should certainly have confidence.