Sixty-four years ago, (1945) when I was seventeen, I enlisted in the U.S. Navy.
As a new recruit I was sent to Bainbridge, Maryland for my boot camp training. That was my first “out of family and away from home” experience. In many ways, being thrown together to live in close quarters with the couple of hundred other guys in my company was an unexpected revelation to me.
I had grown up in a close-knit, loving family with my two brothers and a sister. Boot camp life was not at all like that. I found myself in a rough and tough situation where I had to-toe-the-line and work with and get along with guys from many vastly different life styles from what I was used to and, at the same time, I had to do everything I was ordered to do - or else!
World War II was still on while I was in boot camp and everyone in my company expected, upon graduation, to be assigned to a Navy school for additional, specialized training or to immediately go on sea duty as part of the crew on a warship. In short, we all expected to be in combat as we joined the Pacific Fleet to fight and defeat the Japanese.
Therefore, our very strict and strenuous training, - hard as it was, focused on making us physically and mentally prepared for what was ahead: the fight for our way of life, the freedom of America and the ultimate defeat of the Japanese.
While in boot camp we were taught the basics every Navy recruit needs to know such as: naval etiquette, how to stand at attention, to march, to row a whaleboat, to take orders without question, and to shoot small and big guns of various kinds. In short, our instructors did their very best to make sure we were well prepared to survive and be victorious in the fight that was ahead of us after boot camp.
The atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945, that was about a week before I graduated from boot camp. The war ended soon after that. I had been scheduled to go to the Navy's gunners mate school, but the order was changed when the war ended and instead, I was sent to the aviation machinist mate's school in Norman, Oklahoma. I never expected to go to Oklahoma while in the Navy so that was another unexpected revelation to me.
All in all, I was in the Navy for three years, first as an Aviation Machinists Mate and later as a Boatswains Mate. The whole experience was filled with many unexpected revelations about life and about myself.
Now, after living as a Christian for all of these years, and after my experiences in the Navy's boot camp, the Lord has revealed to me that life as a Christian has many similarities to those long ago boot camp training days in the Navy.
You see, now, with Jesus as my Captain, I believe he sees me as a Christian Recruit in his Christian Boot Camp. While here in this life of intense Christian training, Jesus is constantly revealing to me the skills I will need in the future so I can be useful to him when I leave this life and become part of his “crew” in Heaven - for eternity. Then, I'm sure I will even more fully understand that: a revelation is not a revelation until it is a revelation to ME!
P.S. Want to read more of my BLOGS? Go the bottom of list on your left and click on one or more of them. In addition, you may find it interesting to browse around this site for a few minutes. Perhaps one of my "originals" will fill a current need you have such as: a sleep mask, foot warmer insoles...and more, Take a look...in the list on your left, see if you can find something that is a new "revelation" to YOU!