The Lord Opposes the Proud...And Other Truths of my Life Right Now.

Today is an odd day for me. Not only is it my 36th birthday, but it is also the day I was originally supposed to be a commissioned Chief Warrant Officer in the US Navy. For those who don't know what that means, it's basically an officer rank that still holds on to a lot of the enlisted mentality. Chief Warrant Officers are by design the technical experts in their field. I was picked as the first CWO to commission in my category, and for a long time, I was extremely proud of that fact.

For some reason, I had decided that I must have done something right to be accepted by my future peers so high in the "draft" if you will. I knew I had a decent record in the last five years, but what I had forgotten was that all of that was due to others and my Lord, not me. Yes, yes, I put in the hard work and elbow grease, and I can say with honesty that there was a lot of hard work to put in. But God had directed this path for me, and no one else.

When something is going wrong in a person's life, we are often quick to quote Romans 8:28, usually we take it out of context. Here is the verse: "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."

In that verse, we comfort others with the assumption that it will all work out in the end. I would submit that we often mislead hurting people with this logic, but that is the matter for a different post.

James 4:6 tells us, "But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

I don't like the sentiment of this verse. It proves an uneasy example for me.

The moment I put myself up on a pedestal for those around me to see; the moment I started using myself as a proud example as what a Sailor can achieve, without giving fair credit to God and those who helped me, is the moment I sealed my fate.

I was injured in July and it just wouldn't heal on its own. X-rays showed a tear in the scapholunate ligament in my right wrist. The arthroscopy would reveal an almost complete tear in the SL and another tear in a second ligament, requiring full surgery. I just got the pins out of my wrist (pictured in the X-ray photo above), but it is (as you can imagine), completely sore, stiff, and painful to move. After nine weeks in a cast, it will take months to get back in the action.

So today, I humbly accept and celebrate what should have been the greatest day of my career. Instead, it is an opportunity to admit my failings and to give credit to God for my pending promotion. And a is not a guarantee yet. My commissioning to CWO will be largely dependent on my ability to return to full duty.

As of now, the US Navy has delayed my commissioning until May of this year. I am grateful to God for this, and hope that it will always serve as a reminder to me to remain humble and understand always that it is God who has directed my path, not myself. 


Unknown said...

Humility is fun and you know it. Nothing like being brought down to grow closer to the Lord. 'Course, maybe he needed you more in the May class than Jan. Same for me- I got switched to March. He's got a plan for us and this may be more opportunity than admonishment.

Jojo Vicencio said...

Dan, I was very captivated by what you wrote. Even as you were a third class petty office on the Mobile Bay, you have struck me as one who passionately loves our Lord. And yes you scared me at times. But, to date, I still have a very distinct picture of you as we have spoken back then. The words that you shared with us on those Sundays are words I have hung on to. I thank you for your sharing these recent events with us. It shows that our God always brings us closer to Him when we seem to drift away. Am a quarter of a century older than you but really see what you go through as inspirational.

Unknown said...

I'm celebrating the blessing of God promoting you right when He wants you to be promoted, but coinciding that with knowing you were such a high pick. I would equate that to being promised a high draft pick with a high salary only after you finish college. Except college is your work that still needs to be done in me and in Great Lakes. I wish you could see how much I have grown as a sailor and a spiritual leader in the last 6 months and for that I celebrate.

boilt frog said...

I broke the scaphoid bone in my left wrist. Several month in a cast. Learned to drive a manual-shift transmission car with one good arm. Showering was a chore. I healed quite well. I only get an occasional twinge of pain. I hope you recover. You are taking it well.

boilt frog said...

p.s., Why does it say SMITH, SHELDON on your x-rays? Is P. Dan a nom de plume, cognomen, sobriquet?