28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those (A)who are the called according to His purpose. –Romans 8:28 (NKJV)
No Company Commander, nor Drill Sergeant ever whispered a gentle wake-up to new recruits in basic training or boot camp during my time in the service. The whole point of basic training for recruits is to completely change mindsets and hearts to hear and obey, instantly, the calling. It isn’t the Lord’s voice that one responds to the best of their ability, but to His representative on Earth during that time: the Drill Sergeant or Company Commander. The “encouragement” that a recruit, fresh off the farm, the beach, or the street receives during the first several weeks of military service, instills instinctive responses, physical prowess, self-discipline, and a basic knowledge of the traditions, responsibilities and expectations of each member of a team. At a certain point, each military member makes the decision to embrace that way of life, engage fully, remain devoted, and give one’s best efforts to the team. Or they part company, either expeditiously before the end of recruit training, or after three, four or more years.
11 Light shines[a] on the righteous
and joy on the upright in heart.
12 Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous,
and praise his holy name. –Psalm 97: 11 -12
For those who have been through the maturation process of military training, and thrived, the recognition of authority, wielding it, and being instilled with a single-focused purpose of a spiritual life, is more natural. I think that is why a lot of the imagery in the Bible, Old Testament and New, involves soldiers. As a disciple of Jesus, in my own life experience I understand rigorous training, discipline, and obedience to authority. We have the tools, the teamwork, and the mission to execute. But I am grateful that my christian missteps do not result in “marching parties”, “demerits”, or being found in the receiving end of some “fan-room counseling”.
Thank God that Jesus speaks Truth in Love. If we all respond to that, the hurled trash can “attention-getter” in the barracks hall might not be a wake-up tool anymore.