To the drill sergeant within my head, may you take these words to heart and put them into action.
With four little ‘cadets’ in your charge, you have a full routine of activities before you. Responsibility quickly fills your day, leaving little time for anything else. While I appreciate all you are doing and all the hard work you are putting into training up these little charges, there are a few things I wish to point out to you.
They’re Still In Training
It’s true, you have been given a huge responsibility; one which you are putting your full effort into. However, from time to time, it’s good to remind yourself these trainees are just children. They are going to stumble, fumble, and grumble on occasion. These little ones need not only strict training, but also lots of love. They need to know you are not only able to whip them into shape, but also able to be fun. They need to understand you desire respect, but offer grace. You are firm, but kind. You challenge, yet help.
As they grow, they will need your daily assistance less and less. However, this does not mean your job will be over. Your job will move from drill to councilor. You will be expected to listen carefully, help them analyze their situations, and encourage them to move forward with confidence.
Pick Your Battles
In your struggle to train these little people up wisely, you will come across many battles. It is key that you remember not all battles are going to be won and not all battles are yours to fight. Allow our great and powerful leader, Christ, to conquer where you are unable. Afford your charges opportunities to fight battles for themselves, gaining strength from their experiences.
Stop beating yourself up over battles lost. Focus on the bigger picture, winning the war.
Trust Your Leader
The Lord, Who called you to this, knows what He is doing. He has given you all you need to complete this mission. Never fear, He is constantly watching you; moment by moment. He is keeping tabs on the situation and is offering help constantly.
Put your faith in Him, knowing He will see you through; even those moments when dolling out thousands of push-ups seems the only answer. He understands your frustration, but He knows you can do this!
Remember They’re Not Yours
While it might be tempting to think of these charges as your own, please remember they aren’t. Yes, they are in your care, but, in truth, they belong to our Commander. He has given them to you for a short time to help train, but they always have and always will belong to Him.
Train Them, But Love Them
You have been called to a unique mission. You are being asked to train, but to train out of love. Your training IS an act of love, to be sure, but, from time to time, they are also going to need physical affection; even those whose training is almost complete. Never forget to hug them, cuddle them, and show how much you care. A good drill knows there should be balance between being firm and being loving.
Keep Up The Good Work
Finally, drill, I leave you with this. Do not give up! Your mission might seem frustrating at times. Often you might wonder if your job is really all that important. But, let me assure you, it is vital. What you are doing is of the utmost importance and you need to pursue till the end. Do not allow our enemy to deceive you into thinking you are worthless and of no value.
One day these ‘cadets’ will be drills themselves. They will look back on this time and remember all you have taught them, putting to use all the skills you are so diligently training into them. May they see you struggle, but always rise again. May they see you move forward with confidence, kindness, and affection; knowing love is behind all you do.
My dear drill, may the Father continue to give you strength and peace. May He fill you with His love to share with these little soldiers. May He constantly reaffirm His mission for your life, leaving you with no doubt that to this you were called.
“No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.” II Timothy 2:4
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