In 1985 I was in the US Army’s Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Fort Benning, Georgia.
It was a stressful school. They wanted to put enough pressure on the candidates that people who could not handle pressure would quit. Many did. The officers in charge, Captains – fulfilling the role of Drill Sergeants for Officer Candidates – always had the forms handy that just needed one signature to quit. Many did sign. Fortunately, someone had told me about the One-Day-At-A-Time method recovering alcoholics use:
“Tomorrow I’m going to drink as much as I want to. But I’m not going to drink today.”
The next day they say the same thing. And the day after that. And the day after that. After awhile, they find they’ve been sober 20 years, One-Day-At-A-Time.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Matthew 6:34 NKJV
One-Day-At-A-Time is how I made it through OCS and received my commission as a Second Lieutenant. If I had thought about the upcoming pressure the next week, or tomorrow, or sometimes even that afternoon, I might not have made it through. Rumor was they tried to put as much pressure on us in 100 days as 4 years at the US Military Academy at West Point, and they did reasonably well. (After graduation, a now-fellow officer, a West Point graduate, said OCS was much more daily pressure than his time at the Academy.)
I read my Bible in my limited free time at OCS. There was enough stress and pressure that all I wanted to read was GOOD NEWS. I read a few Psalms, occasionally. But mostly I read the back of the book, Revelation 21 and 22. In these last two chapters of the Bible, evil has been destroyed, and peace and righteousness reign. Forever! I read these GREAT NEWS chapters over and over and over and over and over, those hundred-odd days of OCS. Only God knows how many times I have read this wonderful passage:
22 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. 4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. 5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.
Revelation 22:1-5 NKJV
I believe all that time spent reading and meditating about the new heaven and the new earth has given me a solid, deep, unshakable conviction that everything is going to turn out well for me. Life after OCS has had its share of problems: Job problems, marriage problems, problems with children, health problems, etc. But through all the problems I have had an unexplainable peace deep down. Thinking “a million years from now …” gives perspective.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NKJV
If you have never spent an hour or two reading and meditating on the last two chapters of the Bible, I highly recommend you do so. It is a fantastic way to implement this Scripture:
Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
Colossians 3:2 NKJV
Are you following God's plan for your life? You should. Your plan sucks. It really, really sucks. Suckage Maximus. Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! Jesus is coming. Are you ready to meet Him? Give your life to Jesus Christ. Time is running out.