Monday, June 22nd Nuggets by Coach Ted
Are You Strong Enough to be Broken?
I have often talked about being broken because of my destructive behaviors. Some of these behaviors are as follows: seeking negative attention, neediness, escaping, laziness, selfishness, arrogance, violence, alienating myself and others, and so on. Did I mention causing and experiencing heartbreak? Let’s throw that in for good measure. I will have to work on these behaviors for the rest of my life in order to become the Ted that God created me to be. There is no strength in the type of brokenness that I just described for selfishness is at the root of nearly 100% of it.
One of the ways that I address my shadows is by allowing myself to be broken. Huh? Confusing, right? How can being broken help one to be less broken? Sounds like pouring gas on a fire. Imagine for a moment an 18 year old man (closer to a kid than a man) fresh out of high school. He’s full of ego. He’s 18 and he likes it! No one can tell him anything because he’s invincible and he’s arrived. He’s extremely selfish and only has a few, okay only one thing on his mind.
That young man boards a plane and heads to the MCRD (Marine Corps Recruit Depot) in San Diego. From the moment he arrives, his former world is ripped away as boot camp begins. Orders are barked at him in a chaotic frenzy. He moves left, he moves right, he picks up this, he picks up that. Then, he looks up a Southwest plane that just took off and he kisses his freedom and beach vacation goodbye. What just happened? Welcome to the United States Marine Corps, son. He has embarked on a 13-week journey that will take him from self to unit. If he doesn’t embrace that concept, then he will be considered a threat and liability to that unit. Accordingly, he will never earn the respect of his peers or leadership. He’s got to be broken in order to become a part of the whole. For, in battle, the guy who runs his own show risks both his life and the lives of those around him.
Every insecurity, defiant behavior, and ego trip will come out of that young man when he’s physically, mentally, and emotionally pushed to the very limit. The contents of all the baggage that he brought to San Diego will be dumped out for everyone to see. He’ll look at the contents in a new way. It will humble him perhaps for the first time in his life. He’ll see the full depth of the dents in his armor. He’ll begin to trust the process that seemed so foreign a month ago. The brokenness will serve as a footstool upon which to stand in new life. He’s being broken and growing stronger each day. He’s getting it and it may just save his life when he’s in combat. The Marine Corps knows that it is crucial to break an individual in order to build a whole, a unit.
You are not a recruit in the Marine Corps. Most of you are civilians with a lot more than 18 years in the rear view mirror. You came to this program with a complete ENSEMBLE of baggage. Some of you probably even have your initials embroidered on your baggage. For you, it’s much more difficult to lower yourself in order to be broken. You have had many years to build up layers of bitterness, disappointment, resentment, opposition, defiance, and mistrust. You’ve dug a deep moat and even planted landmines all around yourself to keep you safe from others. All of this has poisoned you from the inside out and has manifested, in part, in poor health. Many of you do not even consciously realize that the moat and landmines have also kept YOU away from others. As a result, you’ve lived in a world of mistrust.
You’ve got a lot of work to do to get through that brokenness! Why don’t you start by looking at the contents of your baggage? We will help you get started by dumping out the bags for you! Then, how about leveling up to the point where you trust the process by allowing yourself to be broken and melded into the spirit of SOUL Fitness? Did you ever notice that the people who make the greatest physical gains are often the same people who undergo the greatest mental, emotional, and even spiritual change? Do you want to be like those people? Well, you can be! It starts with a question…are you strong enough to be broken?
The question is, from what past experience will you get that strength?