Spiritual Musings from an Educated Redneck

An inside look of the mind of Pirate Pops

Archive for the month “November, 2014”

A Three Foot Circle

I tend to blog in spurts. I go for weeks and sometimes months without blogging and then I’ll knock out two in one week. That is what happened this week. Here is how it happened.
This week I watched 60 Minutes. They were interviewing a retired Navy Seal who had been on Seal Team 6 (which isn’t supposed to even be acknowledged as being in existence) that took out Osama Bin Laden. This Seal, before his retirement from the military, did thirteen deployments as a Navy Seal. He obviously did his part and then some for his brothers and his nation.
After his retirement he wrote a book about his experience as a Navy Seal. He sought legal advice about what he should do before publication. Should he have the manuscript vetted by the Pentagon before publication? He was told “No you don’t.” He received bad legal advice. Even though in his book he revealed nothing that isn’t common knowledge out there on the internet, or even revealed in the movie about the Osama Bin Laden operation, Zero Dark Thirty (which was vetted by the military), he is now being prosecuted by the military and the Seal community has disowned him. Whether it is fair or not, the tradition is that a Navy Seal never talks.
All of that is just background material for what I want to talk about. In the interview he told of an experience he had after basic SEAL training. He was learning how to scale a vertical cliff. At about 300 feet up the cliff he froze in panic. His instructor, on the rope next to him, bounced over and said, “Stay in your three foot circle.” He said, “What do you mean?” The instructor went on, “The three foot circle around you is all you have any control over. You can’t control what is below you or above you. Stay in your three foot circle and do what you have to and can do within that circle.” He practiced that principle and made it to the top.
He said that principle served him well for the rest of his career as a SEAL and in his life.
In fact, he said he was having to stay in his three foot circle when it came to all the chaos he was facing over the book.
As I listened to him the first thing that came to my mind was that Jesus said the same thing. In Matthew 6:24 Jesus said, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Jesus was saying, “Stay in your three foot circle.” That’s today.
That principle is taught in recovery. We often say to someone, “One day at a time.” Or we say, “Just do the next right thing.” What great wisdom! We look outside that three foot circle and are overcome with the enormity of it all and freeze! Our Heavenly instructor swings over to us and says, “Stay in your three foot circle.”
As I’m writing this I’m thinking about my garage. I look across the street at my neighbors, clean, orderly, uncluttered garage and I get inspired. I open the door to my own garage with the intention of doing something about the chaos. I end up just closing the door in frustration. Where to begin? The job is so enormous! I need to stay in my three foot circle. Just pick up one thing and get rid of it. Tomorrow pick up another thing and get rid of it. Eventually I think I could probably get it cleared out enough to at least walk through it without endangering life and limb.
A three foot circle. I hope that SEAL gets it all worked out legally. He certainly has done his part to deserve that much. I want to thank him for his service. I also want to thank him and that instructor for the thought of the “Three foot circle.”
Try it, you’ll like it.

A Three Foot Circle

I tend to blog in spurts. I go for weeks and sometimes months without blogging and then I’ll knock out two in one week. That is what happened this week. Here is how it happened.
This week I watched 60 Minutes. They were interviewing a retired Navy Seal who had been on Seal Team 6 (which isn’t supposed to even be acknowledged as being in existence) that took out Osama Bin Laden. This Seal, before his retirement from the military, did thirteen deployments as a Navy Seal. He obviously did his part and then some for his brothers and his nation.
After his retirement he wrote a book about his experience as a Navy Seal. He sought legal advice about what he should do before publication. Should he have the manuscript vetted by the Pentagon before publication? He was told “No you don’t.” He received bad legal advice. Even though in his book he revealed nothing that isn’t common knowledge out there on the internet, or even revealed in the movie about the Osama Bin Laden operation, Zero Dark Thirty (which was vetted by the military), he is now being prosecuted by the military and the Seal community has disowned him. Whether it is fair or not, the tradition is that a Navy Seal never talks.
All of that is just background material for what I want to talk about. In the interview he told of an experience he had after basic SEAL training. He was learning how to scale a vertical cliff. At about 300 feet up the cliff he froze in panic. His instructor, on the rope next to him, bounced over and said, “Stay in your three foot circle.” He said, “What do you mean?” The instructor went on, “The three foot circle around you is all you have any control over. You can’t control what is below you or above you. Stay in your three foot circle and do what you have to and can do within that circle.” He practiced that principle and made it to the top.
He said that principle served him well for the rest of his career as a SEAL and in his life.
In fact, he said he was having to stay in his three foot circle when it came to all the chaos he was facing over the book.
As I listened to him the first thing that came to my mind was that Jesus said the same thing. In Matthew 6:24 Jesus said, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Jesus was saying, “Stay in your three foot circle.” That’s today.
That principle is taught in recovery. We often say to someone, “One day at a time.” Or we say, “Just do the next right thing.” What great wisdom! We look outside that three foot circle and are overcome with the enormity of it all and freeze! Our Heavenly instructor swings over to us and says, “Stay in your three foot circle.”

Dinosaur or Dummy?

I’m sixty years of age. That sounds so strange. I don’t feel sixty. I don’t think sixty. What the mirror tells me and what my mind tells me are two completely different things. The mirror tells me I am sixty. It does so through the wrinkles, grey beard, and greying hair. It also shows me that there are scars from past battles. Some of them can barely be seen they are so old. Some of them are fairly fresh. If some of them are that old I must be sixty. I guess the mirror doesn’t lie does it?
My mind tells me I’m still twenty-five, can eat nails for lunch, jump tall buildings in a single leap, conquer any challenge, and faithfully fulfill God’s calling on my life.
One of the miracles of having lived sixty years on this earth is that you get to gain some valuable experience through both your victories and defeats. There’s been some of both. Not sure in the end on which side the scale will tilt.
The downside to sixty years is that the next generation, which often doesn’t respect that experience, tells you that your way is not the right way and therefore your existence and experience is of little value.
Every generation does it. Mine, the baby boomers, were probably the worst of any generation before us. We knew it all, had all the answers. Just get out of our way and let us get it done.
Now I am sixty. I don’t know how many years of active ministry I have left in me. I know I must prepare the next generation to take my place. That may be the most important task I have in the Kingdom right now. I believe it is.
Thus the dilemma. In so many of their eyes I am a dinosaur that just needs to give it up and pass into extinction! I don’t feel like a dinosaur. I don’t feel that my usefulness is finished. I don’t feel that my experience is useless. I don’t even feel outdated or outmoded! I still feel like an innovator, initiator, ready to get my second wind (sometimes at least) and take the world by storm!
So I am stuck on the horns of a dilemma. I don’t know if I really am a dinosaur or if I’m just a dummy for thinking I’m not. Dinosaur or Dummy. I guess I must be one of them.
But wait, could there be a third option? How about Distinguished? Yea,I like that one! It certainly feels better than Extinguished! Or Extinct. Not sure I’m ready to accept that. So I’ll go down fighting to the last breath I guess. I want to finish the race, not get yanked off the track. I am dinosaur hear me roar!

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