Thirty-nine years ago in April, the God whom I serve opened all the right doors and guided me to enlist into the United States Army. It was the right move in every sense of the word, especially the spiritual.
My first year in 1980 was a blur, going through Basic Training in six weeks, followed by Advanced Individual Training (AIT) for six more weeks, Airborne School for four weeks, and pre-qualification for Special Forces, which lasted approximately three weeks before 155 of us loaded onto silver ‘Cattle Trucks’ to Camp Mackall for Phase 1 of Special Forces Training. Six weeks later, 52 of road back into Fort Bragg, having successfully completed the Phase 1 portion. Two more phase to go. While waiting for Phase 2, I was sent to four weeks of EMT school.
This ride in the fast lane spanned six months and changed my perspective and outlook in many ways. On the positive side, I was much more responsible, self-confident, and physically fit than at any other time in my life. On the negative side, my self-sufficiency gradually pulled my spirit away from my reliance on God.
Before that first year of 1980 ended, I found myself at a crossroad. It was as if my Lord and Savior was waiting for me there and stopped me with a question to ponder. First, he explained what lied ahead of the road I was headed down. Then, he explained what was ahead of the road that He wanted me to choose. However, He made it clear that the choice was mine to make (Joshua 24:15 – “choose this day whom you will serve…”).
I thank God today, thirty-nine years later that I made the right choice because the moment I chose to trust fully in Him (Proverbs 3:5), He literally “lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand” (Psalm 40:2).