“Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you’ve got, be resolute, and love without stopping.” I Corinthians 16: 13-14 (The Message)
We had the opportunity to watch Captain Phillips as a family a few months ago. What a great movie! While our four-year-old dreamed of fighting bad guys in the bedroom, we watched the movie inspired by the actual events of a real-live hero who fought off pirates in 2009.
While watching the movie, I was amazed at all the ways the captives were able to defend themselves or hide or use the knowledge they had to stay alive. I kept telling my kids while we watched the movie, “Watch this. Wasn’t that clever? I wish I could think to do things like that. That’s the way to keep yourself safe.” I also realized one more important truth. I am not a fighter. My husband served in the Navy. While we watched the movie, he was sitting peacefully next to me taking in the action while I was squirming and tense, jumping at every little sound, gripping his hand so tightly I’m surprised he didn’t suffer permanent disability. I definitely grew a deeper appreciation for all that he went through and experienced during his time serving our country.
I don’t have those skills. I don’t think quickly on my feet. I don’t know how to defend myself let alone keep a whole crew alive and protected. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t try, but I don’t think my brain was made to make quick life-saving decisions that way. I’m better at taking instructions and helping to carry out someone else’s great ideas.
However, I realized another thing. God made me the way He did on purpose. He didn’t choose me for the role of having to defend others, think quickly on my feet, or have to protect large quantities of people. He didn’t give me skills to debate, argue, or come up with rationale for why something is right or wrong, complete with examples and points. I wouldn’t make a good lawyer or judge either, and I hate every time I’m called for jury duty. I’m too sympathetic for each side of the case.
God made me with compassion, the mindset to empathize with others, and to feel deeply about things. He gave me my own set of skills and abilities and as a result, He has His own purpose for my life that doesn’t involve combat, self defense, or martial art skills. I’m so glad God gifted others with those abilities and while I will do everything I can to assist them, I will let them handle the tough decisions.
So while I am embracing the gifts and talents God did give me, I’m okay with the fact I’m not a fighter. However, if someone tries to hurt someone I love, especially my children, don’t think “momma bear” isn’t going to come at you with claws out. I may not be a natural fighter, but I think God breeds those instincts into every momma bear and trust me, you don’t want to mess with those amazing skills.
(Thank you to my cousins for supplying the picture and for choosing to serve our country. Love you guys!)
© Cheri Swalwell 2014