I just watched "Act of Valor" with my sons. (SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't seen it, but plan to, don't read this--come back after you watch it!)
Good movie, but not for the faint of heart! This is a movie made with actual Navy Seals, using actual training and mission tactics. Pretty intense stuff! (FYI, the Phrase "Navy Seal" derives from the environments they are trained to conduct their missions in--Sea, Air, and Land.)
It'a actually written from the perspective of one of the Seals, who writes a letter to the young son of another Seal. He is writing because the boys dad died on a mission. He threw himself on a live grenade in order to save his fellow SEALS...hence the name, Act of Valor.
Valor--one of those words, we only think of with respect to the military.
Certainly, it belongs there...even the very definition of it fits: "Valor: val·or: boldness or determination in facing great danger, especially in battle; heroic courage; bravery
Boldness. Determination while facing great danger. Heroic courage. Bravery.
Pretty cool stuff!
I would bet this is something we would ALL aspire to...the question is, is it realistic to think that YOU will display 'valor' when you're called upon?
While most of us would like to think that, the truth is that if we are not displaying any of these traits in the everyday 'training ground' that we experience, we will probaby NOT be 'valorous' when the pressure is on.
So...how do we 'train'? After all, there's not a lot of danger in our typical office cubicle. There aren't many threats in our typical suburban neighborhoods. Even our 'traffic jams' are, by comparison, tame.
So, how do we train? We learn to embrace the qualities that make for 'valorous' behavior. What are they?
Living for a cause bigger than yourself.
Where can you learn these skills and practice these qualities?
For most of us, the most obvious place is at home. With your family.
Can you 'sacrifice' for them? Of course! There are virtually dozens of ways to do this every day...from giving up the remote, to folding socks, to cleaning up the messes, to paying the bills...so many ways to show self-sacrifice and self denial.
Granted, this won't make you a Navy SEAL...those dudes are awesome!
...but the qualities necessary for them to throw themselves on a grenade are qualities that you and I can demonstrate.
And--get this--there ARE 'dangers' that come into your home, that you may be unwittingly exposing your family to.
Dangers from what's on t.v.; dangers from music being listened to; dangers from values that are embraced, or from other visitors and friends. These dangers may be more 'spiritual' in nature, but they are dangers, nevertheless.
Will YOU step up? Will YOU protect your family? Will YOU 'throw yourself on the grenades' that come up?
Others may not understand...but you have to see differently. You may not be a Navy SEAL, but you ARE the protector of your family! You are the shepherd! You are the Leader!
...and this is how leaders train!
Let's go for it!