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Prone To Wander Myth

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Entries in strength (2)


Developing a steady confidence. Lessons from a Navy Seal

Before his grueling Navy Seal training, Eric Greiten, author of The Heart and the Fist, got into the boxing ring.  He trained with a much more seasoned boxer and his coach, and this is his account of the first days of his training for the ring.

When we finished our day's work, I went into the locker room and took off my new gloves and my new hand wraps.  I held my hands splayed in front of me and looked at my knuckles.  The skin was torn from punching on the heavy bag.  Scar tissue would start to grow soon.  But for now, I savored blood on my hands, the small cut on my lip, the soreness in my jaw.  I had begun to earn the strength that comes from working through pain and it felt good.  I filled the sink with hot water and sank my hands.  When I pulled my dripping hands from the water, hints of fresh blood came to the surface of each knuckle.  ...I was becoming stronger and I liked it.

Deciding to enter the strict and discipled training of a professional boxer, Greitens says he needed to test himself:

" ...I needed to live through something hard and real to become better."    He noted that the other, more seasoned boxers had "a sure sense of how to walk in the world.  That was something I wanted - the steady confidence that comes from passing through tough tests." 


That "sure sense of how to walk in the world...that steady confidence" will often only come with bloody knuckles, cut lip,  and the wind knocked out of us.  But the strength will come, too.  When seasoned through suffering, a fighter can then handle opponents that once would have beat him silly.



Finding your hidden vein of gold

Quite often, we're asked to be honest about our weaknesses and shortcomings -- job interviews ask us to disclose this, churches obsess about it,  and accountability groups major on our failings.  There's nothing wrong with being honest about our weaknesses, but there's something more worthy of our attention:  it's the vein of gold within:

"Although men are accused of not knowing their own weakness; yet, perhaps, as few know their own strength. It is in men as in soils, where sometimes there is a vein of gold which the owner knows not of." -- Jonathan Swift

The vein of gold is where God focuses his attention:  he is obsessed with what's most alive, radiant, and strong in you.  A vibrant seam of gold.