Here I am sitting listening to music on my iPod and staring out at the rapidly flowing waters of Westen Lake. It's a bit on the chilly side as I write this during our self-care day. But the cool breeze keeps me from sleeping and let's me reflect a lot on the last week of class and events.
Monday was a depressing day for nearly half our class. We had our first knowledge test and nearly half the class failed the test. Passing in the navy is an 80% but my stellar score was 67%. Seminary wasn't that long ago and I did fairly well, but for some reason the class struggled.
These last few weeks have been a blessing, yet as a class we've struggled. People have struggled with situations and our teambuilding has needed a bit of work. I had been fairly isolated from many struggles until Monday. That morning, I had received the wrath of the gunny because I walked for about 10 seconds during PT after an unexpected incline.
Normally the words people say don't affect me, but it really got to me, because I felt I had let myself down. In addition, that day I heard Bethany had a bad day as well, being up half the night with sickness. So those things were weighing on me Monday. When I found out I had let myself down again with the test it was just another nail in the coffin emotionally.
Thankfully the Navy has remediation and myself and teammates buckled down that night and studied for our retake. But that day I resolved not to quit.There may be trials struggles and afflictions but those are just temporary in nature. (See verse at end)
Tuesday was uneventful other than studying for our test.
Wednesday, was where i would be put to the test again. 0500 was PT time and we had a running day. It was the same course as before and this time after the big hill i pushed through the pain and never quit even when it hurt. During the day I kept thinking about the test and slogged through another series of PowerPoints. These powerpoints are filled with ministry information and really are helpful but they do get tedious after a time.
Wednesday afternoon I felt good about the test and determined to ace it. Thankfully I did get 100% but since it was a retake the most I could get was an 80%. I didn't care about the grade I cared I had accomplished the goal.
Thursday was the time the we got to go to Parris Island. This is where we were able to observe the marines and experience a small taste of being a Marine. We got yelled at and we screamed back "yes ma'am" we got yelled at some more and marched from the van to he yellow footprints several times. It was disorienting and it's designed to help the recruit be disoriented and help strip the individuality away and begin the team building process.
It was amazing to see what Marines go through for our country. They are willing to lay down their lives for their countrymen. And they go through a lot of pain to have the honor of doing so.
The other blessing is the fact that Marine commanders acknowledge the need for chaplains in the military. Marine's love their chaplains tremendously. They are used to counsel regularly and I heard stories of recruits doing a complete 180 in direction and mind after speaking with the chaplain. The colonel we spoke with even said that he relies on his chaplain for advice and counsel routinely and trusts the chaplain completely. He encouraged us to GET OUT OF OUR OFFICE and see Sailors and Marines we serve. Ministry of presence is everything.
On the way back from our trip I heard the story of another one of our chaplains. He has gone through a whole lot already. His family has suffered through 2 PCS moves and his family has to go through another one and his wife and kids may have to do it alone.
Last night I was writing my second paper for our class and came across a passage of Scripture that I have been mediating on. It is found in II Corinithans 4:16-18 and states:
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
No matter the trials or afflictions, they are temporal. God will renew us daily and wants us to focus on the eternal not the temporal.
On to week 4! Our final week of Phase I.