So deployment is an interesting enigma in itself. I find myself wishing for home more and more these days; as is natural with anyone over half way through with a deployment cycle. There is a light at the end of my tunnel and I can see it more clearly each day. But something else has transpired in the last month or so that has awoken within me a realization that we live in a very diverse nation, more diverse than perhaps any of us truly realize. It is only in speaking with the men that make up 3/6 that I have begun to see the scope of the culture that make up our United States. I’ve met farmers, singers, dancers, artists, businessmen, actors, football players, flute players, comedians, construction workers, cooks, writers, geeks, jocks, nerds, and heroes all of them.
There are a thousands dreams across a thousand faces and it has been a wild ride so far. They have each of them left their homes, and some their dreams to come here to this place for a season – for some the time apart has focused their goals for others it has changed them. Deployment is really not so much where you lose yourself but it where you find out who you really are. You discover weaknesses long dormant, strengths that have never seen the light of day; and a resilience that you never knew you had. You understand how to be light on your feet – how to deal with less – how to find joy in the simplicity of the little things. A shower becomes Christmas morning, and quiet moments under the windswept sky are priceless.
I am having more and more conversation about weakness and the true value of discovering them than I ever have before. Weaknesses or rather knowing them is at its very root – strength.
“Know thyself,” said the sage.
Ignorance of a weakness doesn’t save you from the consequences that are born out of it. And so here in our Afghanistan, our desert we find something powerful, something eternal in nature that moves us from a place of immaturity, where we arrogantly walk in ignorance to a place of maturity where we acknowledge and humbly embrace the weaknesses within. Scripture tells us that in our weakness then we are strong. I’ve always wondered how this can be, and at last I know because I have finally walked in such lengths along that path, that the full meaning comes to light:
Weakness revealed, and humbly acknowledged becomes strength because finally the one thing that held back the power of God in our lives is removed; The arrogance built out of a spirit ignorant of its own frailty.
In acknowledging, I am weak Than I become strong.
In His Grips