We went to the awesome Aquarium in Gatlinburg this week!
Last Friday at 8 PM, President Obama gave the Navy permission to use lethal force in the rescue operation of a merchant ship that was taken over by pirates off the coast of Somalia. After a scuffle with the crew of the merchant ship, the four pirates took the captain as a hostage to a lifeboat. The USS Bainbridge came onto the scene to negotiate the release of the American captain. One of the pirates, who had been injured by the merchant crew left the lifeboat on an inflatable vessel to seek medical attention from the U.S. Navy. Then the lifeboat ran out of fuel and agreed to let the USS Bainbridge tow them to calmer waters. A Navy Seal team parachuted onto the back of the USS Bainbridge to takeover negotiations…
So this is the situation: Navy Seals were on the back of a US battleship that was towing a lifeboat with three pirates and one hostage on it. Two of the pirates were visible through the glass of the engine room with the captain and the other pirate came above deck at the same time that one of the pirate’s AK47’s was pointed in the back of the captain. The commander of the Seal team gave his orders and three shots were fired… it was over in an instant. These Seals fired only three shots and each one was fatal. Here’s the really impressive thing: this was at night on the open sea! The lifeboat was listing up and down with the waves, two of the pirates were indoors and the three simultaneous shots were all right on their mark!
When I read the report of this story, I thought about those Navy Seals and all the training they went through… all of the target practice, the stationary and moving targets… the millions of times they have taken different types of shots in different situations. Did they ever feel like, “I don’t need to practice shooting today, I’ve got it down.”? Did they ever just get tired of practicing different scenarios where they had to simply take orders when they were given even if they didn’t have all the information? Did they ever get tired of doing the same fundamental things every single day, hour after hour? And yet… when it came down and they had to step up and do the very thing they had been trained to do, they were ready! More than ready, they were perfect.
Sometimes when people get into the trial of their life, they feel like they are suddenly drowning… they look around and panic because they realize they are in over their head and they simply don’t know what to do. Tom always says, “When you don’t know what to do, do what you know to do.” That usually means that when there’s nothing around you can do, you can always pray. Here’s the thing… what if you never really pray? What if you’re not really in the habit of talking to God? What if you don’t really spend any one on one time with Him? That’s like a marksman who never takes a shot… you get rusty. The Apostle tells us in 1 Thessalonians to “Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Maybe part of the reason it’s God’s will for us to always be joyful, praying and thanking Him is that these are our fundamentals! These are the things we need in a pinch! If you are always training, then you’ll know what to do when you get in the trial of your life and you just don’t know what to do.
3 years ago