Life is not fair. We see evidence of this all around us, yet we are repeatedly taken off guard by unexpected unfairness In his book, Overcome, retired Navy SEAL and Wounded Warrior Jason Redman talks about the unfairness of SEAL training school, better known as BUD/S.
Redman talked about men being unable to finish a race in 30 seconds, only to have instructors shave ooff five and make them do it again in 25 seconds. These instructors did this knowing they were practically setting these elite potential warriors up for failure.
in one instance, Redman talks about he and his boat crew talk have the perfect room for inspection. As time for room inspection comes, they hear the BUD/S instructors tossing rooms nearby and coming closer and closer to them. Redman and his boat crew are not worried. Rather, they are confident that their room is, not just up to snuff, but absolutely perfect. Then the wait is over! The lead Inspector looks through everything and agrees. Their room is spotless. No fault can be seen in this fair world, but life is not fair they realize as the instructor takes a handful of sand from his pocket, dumps it on the floor and tells them to go run alongside the guys who had not done such a spectacular job.
This kind of thing happens often at BUD/S. Men are pushed to their limits or beyond. Redman talks about how upset he was in these moments. His mind focused on the injustice. He complained and got angry about the unfairness of what was being done to him. What’s worse is that he was right. It was utterly unfair, but in a fire fight, life isn’t fair.
What Redman discovered later was at his instructors were not being mean because they enjoyed being cruel. They did it to push men to work through injustice and focus on what is important and on the mission. Whether their rooms were prefect or not. Whether they were exhausted, picked on or beaten down, whether they were wounded, broken, or watched a brother succumb to his wounds, each BUD candidate is expected to focus, and do his job and carry out the mission to the best of his ability.
At the end of training the majority of would-be SEALs would ring the bell and quit thei challenge they believed in, but some, special, select few would succeed. These men would push beyond barriers said to be 10% physical and 90% mental.
The men who overcame the unfairness of Hell Week and the rest of BUD/S training would go on to the most respected position in the US Military, that of a US Navy SEAL. That mental challenge, brought in part by deliberate unfairness is part of what weeds out the wheat from the chaff so to speak. Knowing this, we can see God working much the same in our own lives.
Which must make us non-SEALS stop and think…If SEAL instructors prepare their beloved men for battle by giving them purposely unfair circumstances knowing these very circumstances would teach them to push past mental barriers that would debilitate them in battle, how much more likely is it that our God does the same for us?
Our God knows what we are up against better than we do. He understands spiritual warfare on a level that we cannot begin to comprehend. He knows we face enemies who play unfair. He allows our struggles to teach us to push past unfairness we are dealt, so we learn to focus on him as our Commander. In this way, we may be wounded, but do not lose the battle. We emerge with scars, but we emerge!
Life is unfair.
The sooner you accept it and move on through it, the better you and everyone else around you will be. Stop arguing the unfairness and start focusing on the Lord.
The ordinary path is to dwell on unfairness and victimhood. To Live, Not Ordinary requires pushing past injustice and ideas of what “should” happen for us or to someone else. Instead of focusing on hurts, the triumphant mindset consciously focuses on acceptance, solutions, and surrender to the Lord.
Gratitude Journal – May 1, 2023
Thank You Lord for…
- Saint Jospeh the Worker & the Consecration starting today.
- A talk with K and his support.
- B & C’s little one.
- B’s text about laughing at the boys’ bucket of fish maggots – Euueewww!!!!
- Forgiveness given me when I don’t try like I should.
- Bagels and M’s new baby and return!
- A clean house to come home to.
- Just crashing on the couch today.
- Jason Redman’s insight on life being unfair and God’s timing in showing me that.
- The Armor of God Prayer from Ephesians 6.
- My Warriors, Saint Michael the Archangel, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, patron Saint of Soldiers, Angel, and of course, My Mary and the Holy Ghost among others…thank you all for being with me today, getting me through the day, giving me a clearer head, stiffer spine, and more joyful clarity to conquer another day.