Why walk when you can ride?

One afternoon while at the U.S. Marine Corps School of Infantry many years ago (a great place for reflection about what is important in life), a grizzled old Instructor yelled at a bunch of us.  Big surprise I know, a yelling Marine.  While his delivery was not unexpected, his admonition was:

"Why are you standing around!  You have time to rest, sit your dumb*** down.  Be combat ready!  Why be awake if you have a chance to rest?  Why stand if you can sit?  Why walk if you can ride?  Why ride if you can fly?"  This struck me.  It was exactly the opposite of what I would have expected to hear: be hard on yourself, don't rest, always be on guard, never take your mind off the enemy ... " This old grunt also told us that it is easy to be hard, but it is hard to be smart.

I have often viewed my walk with the divine as a dialogue with that old Marine.  The two of us riding around in the dessert.  Me in battle gear, him riding along in a Humvee.  Sun glaring down on me.  Dehydrated and about to fall out.

"Hey, get in the Hummer!  Why are you walking when you can ride?"

But often times I wave on and say no thanks.  I'll do things my way even if it means killing myself.  I am not sure that I will ever get out of that habit.  But I am taking steps in the right direction.  And I am riding in the Hummer - at least for the moment.


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