Good ————— > Great
Following up from my testimony post, I wanted to share other factors that make me the quirky guy that I am.
As far as I know, I grew up a pretty normal kid. I don’t remember anything that made my childhood either extraordinary or lacking. Nor do I remember being driven by any strong goals or passions. Just a simple country way of life with the same struggles most families had in the late 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s.
Let me describe a few events and seasons that I feel have shaped me to wanting my life to be counted as more than just good:
Army – I think my time in the Army did something to me I have never had in my life – it instilled in me a passion to be the best.
I think it started in basic training. I graduated with a full battalion of Infantry men with the 10th Mountain Division in Ft Benning, Georgia. Through basic I feel I did by best, and found most of the tests to be well within my physical abilities. At graduation I realized my scores were at the top of my company, but I was not selected as the top soldier. My best friend won the top prize and I was glad for him, but just wondered what more I needed to do. How much of what I thought was great was only really good. Through much contemplation I realized that although I met the physical requirements, I was not very outgoing and brought no positive attention to myself. So I set out to slowly correct those.
Other training and trials in the Army drove me to realize that I liked the feeling of being the best. Subconsciously I started striving to be the best in all my endeavours. I wanted to be the best mortar gunner, on the best squad in the best company of our battalion. I just felt a drive to be the best. I don’t recall a specific instance that developed my drive, but I think it was a gradual setting of my expectations by dialing in the passions I had deep down in my heart.
When I think of great soldiers I think of my buddy Wes who was that guy that did win the top soldier award at our basic training ceremony. Wes’ dad Jim and mom Brenda were Army veterans, and they set an example for Wes to follow when it came to Army life. Wes just sort of knew what to expect in the Army and it gave him confidence. He also was a go getter and would do the hard things that others would not – and that separated him in a good way.
I also think of my platoon leader Sergeant Charles Lewis. When we went active in the 10th Mountain he was one of the seasoned veterans they assigned to us for leadership. SSG Lewis had combat experience so he would always give us insights to things we had no way of knowing or learning through exercise. He loved his job and wanted us to have that same passion.
Lastly I think of the guys who went through Airborne School with us. Going through such an intense elite school as the US Army Airborne school you see men and women who are dedicated physically and mentally to their assigned complex tasks. It takes courage and determination to be Airborne qualified, and those who successfully complete the course have unparalleled confidence in their ability to overcome any challenge.
After three years of active duty service I left the Army as an E5 Sergeant. I was proud of the accomplishments I had made and the quick rank I achieved. I felt when I left there were very few things in life that I could not accomplish if I put my mind to it!
College – In my second attempt at college (after my Army service) I found school work to be much easier. I worked at the community college in which I attended as a work-study student in the Information Services department, so my instructors knew me as a student but also someone who could help them. I found myself wanting to have just as good a relationship with my instructors, as I was a good student. Combining these two disciplines really made my time at college fun, rewarding and educational!
Work – When I started to work I found myself wanting to be the best at any position I held. Whenever I came into a new job I found out who the go-to guy was, and then I set out to be better than them. Not in a way of competition, but in a way to find out where to set the bar for my expectations.
Usually my jobs that have required me to be good technically and even better with customer relations. I have enjoyed the technical aspects of my jobs, but even more so enjoy the ability to help people and solve problems with the skills I have.
I read in the Bible where it calls us to be great at whatever we do. The Lord is just not pleased with our good works, He wants us to reflect Himself with great works!
There is none like You, O Lord ; You are great, and great is Your name in might. Jeremiah 10:6
Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. John 14:12