Question: are the hard times in your life a training ground for tomorrow?
In Frank Herbert’s science fiction series Dune, the Emperor of the known universe, Shaddam Corrino 4th, kept all the systems in line because of his elite fighting force called the Sardaukar.
So much better than the trained warriors of the Great Houses were they, that numbers didn’t matter if the Sardaukar were involved. Ferocious. The best training. The best weaponry. The most strategic and cunning minds. One Sardaukar could face 20 or 30 or more and it didn’t matter. They were that much faster and stronger and ruthless. They would find a way to win. In fact, they had never lost. Only if all the Great Houses of the other planets banded together could that have been possible.
The Emperor never disclosed where he recruited from or how he trained the Sardaukar. If he did, the other Houses could do the same. Questions of that nature were discouraged, to say the least.
Seemingly unconnected to his military operations, the Emperor also had a Prison Planet. All the worst criminals in the Imperium were sent there. 60% mortality rate amongst new prisoners. Every form of oppression was practiced in those dungeons. The most brutal conditions in the Empire. Very few in the Universe suspected the truth…
That’s where Shaddam conscripted his legendary troops! That was his training ground.
He already began with a tougher man than other military leaders did, one who was brutal and used to life and death decisions every moment. He secluded them into small groups and trained them with the mystique that the Prison Planet was justifiable because it produced them. The elite.
King David in the Bible actually had a group of men like that. His Captain had lifted up his spear against 800 men at one time and killed them (1 Samuel 23). Gross! (sorry girls). We can read the record of phenomenal, elite warriors who, in a day of hand to hand combat, simply could not be stopped.
What we don’t see is the training ground where they came from. Back to 1 Samuel 24 for an interesting story…
(I’m not going there right now or this blog would go on forever)
The point is, we all want our lives to look like a highlight reel. Nobody who is reaping the investment of an amazing marriage, a successful company, kids who turn out great, or having lifelong friends got to where they are without a training ground of hard times.
So many people that I watch and have pastored seem to go through life as though it were one isolated (and shockingly painful) experience after another happening to them. It could have been a training day for their future. The sad part is when what could have been seen as an investment is thrown out with the bath water. Meaning: they do everything they can to “GET OUT” of that experience. It drives me crazy when they’re right back in a year later because they never… you ready?… LEARNED THE LESSON!
Pain can be overcome if it saves much greater pain later. If you can see it that way… Even when you get a decision horribly wrong it’s better to treat it like an investment that you evaluate, and then decide to improve on next time.
Most of us are hardly finished whining by the time the trial is over, let alone actually learning somethin:)