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Monday, June 27, 2011

Compelled to be Humble

Here is the big issue that I have been dealing with since I've been here in Germany. I've been in the Army for six years come 8 August 2011. I joined when I was a month away from my 40th birthday. I look back now and I wonder what I was thinking. I was old enough to be the father of most of the others that joined when I did. But even being twice the age of many I was still better fit physically.

When one first come into the Army they are assigned a rank according to their level of education. The highest rank you can be right off the bat is an E-4, Specialist. I had an Associates Degree so I got to be an E-3, Private First Class or PFC. If you had a higher level of education you were an E-4 Specialist and encouraged to become an Officer which required a higher level of training. Anyway, after I finished all of the required training I was assigned to the HHB 1/145 Field Artillery at Camp Williams in Utah.

After I was there for a few months I was promoted to a Specialist. I didn't really have to do anything to get that promotion, that comes with time. Here some five years later I am still a Specialist. By now I should have been promoted to a Sergeant and I agree, that is where I want to be. In order to have that rank I am required to go to special training, but that is only if there is a "slot" open for me to be promoted to. And if there were a slot open it may be in another Unit and it may be another job which would once again require more training. As I mentioned, change in the Army isn't pleasant for me so I have stayed with the same Unit. I have since changed jobs but my job is in an E-4 Specialist slot so any chance of promotion is nil. I also really like the guys I drill with once a month and they like me and to me it is about serving my Country not the money or rank.

Fast forward to the present. I am now 45 almost 46 and am still a Specialist. When I am seen from a distance by other Soldiers they see the age before they see the rank. The right hand becomes ready to salute me because from a distant my rank looks like that of a Lieutenant Colonel. I've actually had people salute me and I kinda liked it. But as the Soldier gets closer and is able to see that I am only a Specialist there is no acknowledgement and most of the time not even a look. I also see the quizzical looks and puzzled minds thinking "Why is that old man still a Specialist?"

It hurts me deeply when those looks come my way. How I ache to be promoted to a SGT and to gain a bit of respect. What hurts the most is not receiving the respect for my age. In the Military is all about the rank, age has so little to do with it. I recently found out that any chance of promotion will not be mine until I go back to my unit in Utah which is another year or more away.

For whatever reason this is my lot. This is where Heavenly Father wants me. And though it humbles me to the dirt I accept it because I know I am where I am for His reasons which are beyond my understanding and being a Specialist is going to serve His purposes.

There is a song called "Better Than I" that has been the theme of my stay here in Germany. "For You know better than I. You know the way. I've let go the need to know why. For You know better than I." Certainly Father knows better than I.

I was given a blessing once that said "Be humble in all that you do. Humility is a virtue. Cultivate it and be willing always to subordinate yourself and your desires to those of the Savior and to those of you fellow men, wherein it is righteous and appropriate in the framework of the gospel to do so".

My goal now is to be humble and accept me as a 45 year old Specialist. Once I accept me then it won't matter if others don't. I get to choose how I feel and how I will respond to those around me. All that matters is what Father thinks about me. And I know that He thinks very highly of me and loves me more than I can ever comprehend.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

imperfections

So here is the deal, I am going to type and not use the delete button to correct my mistakes. I find myself already typing slower so I don't goof. Out of all the key board butons on my keyboard the "delete" button is the one I use the most. My right pinky is so fast to jump on that button even before I finish a wentence becaue I hate to see that red underline under the words that I msispell. That is because I have a hard time seeing imperfections in myself and I want to delete them as soon as I see them and I can't wait til or be patient enough to allow them or me to work them out in a realistic manner.

Now most of us know that we have all be en given weakneses and imperfectoin to keep us humble anbd pointed to Jesus. It took me so many years to finally get this through my head. I just couldn't figure ouot in my head that Father in Heaven could still or possibly love me after all the sins I've committed and the weaknesses I have. Thatis mbecause I didn't love me or accept me. I still have a letter that a Ihaven't read all the way though from a girl I dated 23 years ago becasue I hurt her and I can't handle that I hurt soemone and I can't handle that I wasn't perfect. It took many years of falling and getting back up and feeling God's love and presents to finally comvence me that He truly does love me NO MATTER WHAT I do or say or feel or think. NowI am to a poin t in my life wehre I tell or admit to Father whatI am thinking and feeling and doing becasue He alwready knows and we can't hide it from Him. I feel an even closerness(?) to Him by doing that. I find that whatever I have don'e or felt doesn't linger as loner, longer when I come right out and admit what I have done.

We are told to be perfect in or from the scriptures but that doesn't mean be perfect like Jesus was, it means to be perfect in Christ and with Christ. It means so never give up and never surrender your desire to be the best you. Love yourself with all of your imperfections and love your imperfections becaseu that is how you were made. FAther gave those imperfections to you or at least knows of your imperfections and has and is and will continue to use them to
HIs perposes to bring souls to Him. I really believe that. I know that. So love yourself and accept yourself and make the best of this journey away from HOme. becasue we will be home soon enough and then we will be able to look back and see how our imperfection benefited that, those around us.

THat's all!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Quiet Noise

So here I am, about to write my first blog, well actually my second blog. My first one was on my wife's blog page http://evolutionarily.wordpress.com. This one will be on my very own blog. So now what to blog about?

Just less then 30 minutes ago I was chatting with a friend on Facebook and she told me that she had been blogging but stopped for a while. Then she suggested that I start a blog about my time here in Germany. I had actually been thinking about starting a blog but is was only a small thought until she mentioned it.

I don't know that anything I have to say will be of interest to anyone. I'm not writing because I want everyone to know and read what I am thinking and feeling. I am writing because maybe my thoughts will have meaning to me. That's what The Quite Noise is: the thoughts inside my head that need and want to get out. Though I may appear to be quiet on the outside, on the inside it is very noisy and I just need to quite the noise so I can sleep at night and so I can be at peace, and so I can know what the Universe has to say to me.

That's all!