TERTULIA 2013: Actualization


“I Push Toward the Goal … ” David Alicea  (Pastor of UCC Paradise Hills in San Diego, CA)

“I push toward the Goal…” from Philippians 3:14

The Apostle Paul thinks again about his ministry and the sum of all his experiences in the process. As he took spiritual inventory, the Apostle Paul began to realize that not all those difficulties that filled “the room with water and punished the heart with dismay”, dismissed what he found; the strength to go forward. The Apostle Paul had strong reasons to tell God, I am done! In fact, his discouragement enters intolerable levels when he asked God to remove his thorn. Spiritual warfare is for the brave and not for cowards. Not to say that all things are going to go off without a hitch; many of the challenges that an individual may face are often caused by those least expected.

As chaplain of the Naval Forces of the United States, I was stationed on the Marine base of Recruitment and Training in the heart of downtown San Diego, CA. The facility is also called – Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD). This is the location where young people who desire to become Marines sign up; they go through the most intense training in the world. As chaplain of the First Battalion, I could see up close the rigor of such training. Recruits rose at 5:00 a.m. for a one minute shower and then go marching, running, exercise, overcome obstacles, special indoctrination, and learn how to unload their M-16, seven days a week 12-hours a day. It is a process to break the individual down to then build the individual up again; the Marine way.

The graduation exercise is called the 24-Hour Crucible perpetuated at week 17. Individuals are sent to their respective groups and are armed with Marine military equipment. They are charged with overcoming various obstacles that involve defending their area to save a drowning Marine while carrying all of their military equipment withstanding sleep deprivation and lack of food. These young people end up emotionally and physically drained. Only 45% complete the entire workout. The basic question is: Why? Many give up halfway; others enter a state of shock or show signs of being comatose, which prevents them from finishing the course. Others feel completely destroyed, crying inside unable to have garnered enough strength to continue. The interesting thing is that those who manage to finish the workout feel exactly like their counterparts who were unable to complete the task. What is the difference? Those who completed the training did because they decided to go on even though they believed they did not have the strength to do it.

That’s the big difference in your life, even if you do not have the strength to go forward, even if you do not understand where your life is headed or do not understand what is the will of God, even when your body and mind scream – “ENOUGH,” even when no one supports or helps you, (which unlike Lot’s wife tells – ” Curse your God and die,”) you have to raise your head and say aloud to the world,to sin, even the devil himself – ” I push toward the goal, toward a higher calling in Christ Jesus.” You will notice that forces from heaven will propel you to continue forward. Most importantly, you will realize you’re stronger than you thought. “Jehovah is the fortress of my life …” What kind of person are you? : Someone who surrenders or someone who will say: Although I have no strength, I will push on toward the goal … The rest is history…. God Bless You.

37

“ Prosigo hacia la meta…” David Alicea

“Prosigo hacia la meta…” de Filipenses 3:14

El Apóstol Pablo recapacita sobre su ministerio y la suma de todas sus experiencias en tal proceso. En su inventario espiritual, el Apóstol Pablo realiza que a pesar de todas aquellas dificultades que le “llenaron el cuarto de agua y castigaban su corazón con desaliento” pudo encontrar fuerzas para seguir hacia adelante. ¡El Apóstol Pablo tenía razones contundentes para decirle a Dios hasta aquí llegue! De hecho, su desanimo entra en niveles intolerables cuando le solicita a Dios que le quite un aguijón. La lucha espiritual no es de cobardes sino de valientes. No quiere decir que todas las cosas te van a salir a pedir de boca y sobre todo que muchos de los retos te pueden llegar de aquellos de quien menos tú lo espera.

Siendo Capellán de las Fuerzas Navales de los Estados Unidos, me encontraba en la base de Reclutamiento y Entrenamiento de los “Marines” en el mismo downtown de San Diego, CA. La misma se llama – Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD). Allí llegan todos los jóvenes que desean ingresar en la Marina de los Estados Unidos, los mismos pasan por el entrenamiento más intenso del mundo. Como Capellán del Primer Batallón, pude ver de cerca el rigor de tal entrenamiento. Levantaban a los reclutas a las 5:00 AM para una ducha de 1 minuto y salir a marchar, correr, hacer ejercicios, vencer obstáculos, recibir adoctrinamiento especial y aprender a descargar su M-16 los 7 días de la semana, 12 horas diarias. Es un proceso para quebrarte para luego re-hacerte al modo de la Marina.

El ejercicio de graduación se llama – EL CRISOL DE 24 HORAS – (24 Hour Crucible) perpetuado en la semana número 17. En el mismo están con todo su equipo y armamento militar de la Marina, venciendo distintos obstáculos que implican defender su zona hasta salvar a un Marino ahogándose con todo su equipo sin dormir o alimentarse. Los jóvenes terminan emocionalmente y físicamente desgastados. Solo el 45% termina todo el entrenamiento. La pregunta básica es: ¿Por qué? Muchos se rinden a mitad de camino, otros entran en un estado cromático o en shock, lo cual les impide seguir el curso. Otros llegan llorando totalmente destruidos por dentro al no poder tener más fuerzas para seguir. Lo interesante es que los que logran terminar el entrenamiento se sienten igual que los que no pudieron hacer el mismo. ¿Cuál es la diferencia? Los que pudieron completar el entrenamiento lo hicieron porque decidieron seguir aunque no tenían las fuerzas para hacerlo.

Esa es la gran diferencia en tu vida, aunque no tengas las fuerzas para seguir hacia adelante, aunque no entiendas hacia donde se dirige tu vida o no entiendes cuál es la voluntad de Dios, aunque todo tu cuerpo y mente te gritan – “BASTA YA, “aunque nadie te apoye o te ayude, al contrario cual mujer de Lot te dicen– “Maldice a tu Dios y muérete.” Tienes que alzar tu cabeza y a voz en cuello dile al mundo, al pecado, hasta al mismo Diablo – “Prosigo hacia la meta, hacia la soberana vocación enCristo Jesús.” Vas a notar que fuerzas desde el cielo te van a llegar para proseguir hacia adelante. Lo más relevante es que te darás cuenta que eres más fuerte de lo que pensabas. “Jehová es la Fortaleza de mi vida…” ¿Qué clase de persona eres?: Los que se rinden o los que dicen: Aunque no tengo fuerzas, prosigo hacia la meta…El resto es historia….DTB. 

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Posted on October 3, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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