Thursday, November 10, 2016

Training and Drills

One thing on Garry's agenda for today is a fire drill. We all remember fire drills as kids, the noise and momentary chaos until a teacher or other adult called things to order and we lined up and evacuated the building. As a kid, it seemed funny to me. I figured that in a real fire, not even the adults would be calm. I thought the drill was a useless exercise. My views have changed since then. I realize that the value of a drill is creating a memory that we can fall back on in stressful times. Things we drill become automatic responses to situations or sounds. Athletes perform drills hundreds of times. Much of magic of art is created through countless hours of practice. Performers practice and practice some more, drilling themselves and one another on how things should be. And their hours of practice pay dividends in the quality of their performance, in the seemingly effortlessness of their actions.

Many of life's outcomes are also determined by what we've been drilling: in stressful times we respond much like we have been training ourselves to respond in less stressful times. We can choose to blame other people or search for solutions. We can see life as filled with hope or perceive our situation as hopeless. We can take action or wait for someone else to take action. The possibilities are nearly endless, but it's interesting to reflect on our own intuitive responses to life, and how those responses have become intuitive.

Yesterday I took a short walk with a friend and we chatted about life and ministry. I was blessed by her near-constant references to scripture. I was encouraged by the way she is changing as she walks through life. I was challenged by her thoughts on living quiet lives. I was blessed by the way she interacts with her kids. And I realized that day after day she is practicing living better and choosing well. Her efforts made her a blessing to me.

This week Garry is also privileged to take part in turbine engine training. He is excited to learn more about how these engines work and the best ways to maintain them. This is very helpful information as mission aviation is using more and more turbine engines overseas as avgas becomes harder to find and more expensive.

Our house is going on the market this week. It's challenging. I find I'm not fond of having photos of every room on the internet, of having strangers walking through and checking things out, or of having a device on the door that allows realtors access to the house. It's giving us a chance to practice what we've been practicing.

I suppose fire drills are, after all, quite valuable!

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