The Obstacle Course
With Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
Special guests: Don and Carole Nelson
(Don) The only reason I thought about it is because Carole and I sat here, and you and John were editing the podcasts, and they essentially dealt with, uhmm, the obstacle course of life.
(Don) And the example she used, which I think is what prompted me, is she used the Green Beret, and the obstacle courses. Now, I can tell you that I’m sure the Green Beret guys, because they were picked from, they were the elite guys originally, and I know their obstacle courses would have been probably much harder than anything that I went through or anybody else would have went through. But it really stirred something up. And the reason it got stirred up is what the Lord shared with us a day or two earlier on the oil.
(Don) And that’s what got me to thinking. It was that that prompted me to go back and think about, and I know you’re probably going to share on the oil, and you may want to do that while we’re talking, but it was how we, when you look at the virgins, those that were prepared or knew what they had to do, uhm, they did not share. And what came to me is, I went through lots of obstacle courses, and what I began to see is that, and I will tell you the obstacle courses in the army, they weed out who’s not gonna be the soldier, ok? Whether you’re going through a typical obstacle course or it’s the night-fire thing they do where it’s a live fire exercise, and they shoot machine guns across the top of you, and you have to crawl under a barbed wire fence that’s probably, if it’s a foot tall at all, so you have to put your rifle and go through the mud and get through this thing. And there are a lot of guys that…They’re not doing that, ok.
(Carole) Just freak out?
(Don) Yeah, oh they freak out, they’re gone, ok. And there are a lot of things that you go through, and there’s a lot of obstacle courses. Well, what made me think, because of the oil, is the tendency was to help those guys.
(Carole) Even when you’re gonna make it yourself? Or the officer? Or when you’re overseeing?
(Don) Well see, that’s something when Julie was saying and somebody would come in and help. They don’t help you, ok. No, they’re not helping you, because they have trained you. They have given you everything you need to go through it. What happens is those guys are not, they’re not receptive to: one, the training, one they don’t want to be there. They’re… I mean I don’t know. It was hard. The sixties were bad. But they don’t want anything to do with it. But those are the people you’ve got to weed out really fast. So the guys don’t run in and help those guys. But the tendency that I might have, or somebody else might have, is to help them. And that’s wrong. Because we’re giving up the oil that we had in preparation for who we were to be in Him. But I thought that because of the way Julie shared it and the right thing was that… because you shared with us when we got to the oil part, you shared about how you, you give your oil up, and you shouldn’t give your oil up. You have your sufficiency of what you need to have. You give us the sufficiency of what we need to have. When you start giving the oil away, what you do is you jeopardize everybody else, ok? Let’s say I help the guy and I can get him through some of that, though he can’t do it himself; well that’s the guy you’re out in combat with, and you get in a fire-fight and he’s either running or something happens, or everybody gets killed because he is not equipped, and his oil is not full.
(M) He hasn’t gotten his own. He hasn’t gotten his own oil from the instruction, which is the light. I remember that this is the only help they gave that I saw in the “Surviving The Cut”. That one man was up on this high thing like a ladder ten or twelve feet off the ground, and he had to walk it standing up with no rail. Is that clear? It was like a ladder. And the rungs were literally round; they weren’t a step. And they would be difficult. And he got up there and he froze. And the officer said, “stand up soldier, stand up.” And he wouldn’t do it, so he had to come down. That’s the only help he gave him, was to tell him, in other words…
(Don) This is what you need to do.
(M) This is what you need to do. Stand up! And he just stayed like an animal clinging to the, to the ladder. And ah, so that’s kind of…
(Don) And they took him out and he didn’t come back. He washed out.
(M) But it’s the refusal to be trained. And that’s what we’re all…
(Don) It is. You see, they, it’s the objection to ah, it’s the objection to the situation they’re in, and not to accommodate and learn to survive. I mean it is life or death.
(M) And it’s, it’s, you’re on your own, right? You are absolutely on your own.
(Don) Absolutely. Yeah. Nobody’s helping you, nobody’s helping you.
(M) But now to prepare you for the obstacle course, they don’t give you an obstacle course that’s beyond you too far. It’s certainly beyond you. But every, does every obstacle course lead to a more difficult one? Is that how it works?
(Don) No. Here’s here’s part of the training, I’m remembering the best I can, this is forty-five years ago or whatever, but… One is, they give you knowledge, and you give us knowledge. Two, you are prepared by being physically fit, ok? So it’s like you’re, I’ll add the last one, but it’s like you’re physically and mentally prepared if you are willing to learn that. In our case it’s probably that and you prepare us spiritually for what we need to have. They do all of that as part of the training, and then you get into the obstacle courses, but you are well trained to do that. Uhm, so I got so much out of that, only from what the Lord shared with us a day or two earlier on the oil. And I will never be the same for that. I mean, I will never read in the Bible anything that has to do with that without truly understanding what He shared with us, which was just awesome. Water and oil, and we’ll have a whole new perspective at looking at those, but I could see spiritually from having gone through the obstacle course that you can’t give your oil away. It is detrimental to all for you to give the oil away, as it would be to help those that could be detrimental to your life in a combat situation.
(M) In other words it is very simple, simple; each person is responsible for his own development.
(M) And nobody, when you get in that, nobody can do it for you. And really, nobody can cheer you on. You have to decide if you’re going to run. You have to decide if you’re going to the end.
(Don) But I want to share while we were here the night I watched the Veterans Day thing. It’s while we were here in Canada, and we didn’t have any American things to watch, and how moved to tears I was. I watched, and there is some spiritual aspect to this, so I’m going to get to there. But I watched, and it was from Ottawa. And, you know, we were watching Canadian and we’ve already decided there isn’t a whole lot of choices. But they had this ceremony for the veterans, and it was in Ottawa because the tomb of the Unknown Soldier is in Ottawa. And apparently it is a young soldier that died, and I think they used World War Two, and they brought back and they buried him. And there were a lot of dignitaries, and there didn’t appear to be a lot of people there. And they’re all making speeches as they normally would, and they had the brass and the political guys there. But what, what really got me was they had hundreds of veterans there; young guys, old guys. And Canada is always with us, so, I mean they’ve been with us through all the wars, and I know they had them in Nam, and they were, I think they were in the Gulf War, and Iraq, and they’re still in Afghanistan. So you could tell there were young guys, and then you could tell there were the Nam era guys, old like me, and, and ah. And they had these wheel chairs, and there were guys in the wheel chairs. And you knew they were World War Two guys. Well, but this is what got me. They’ve got hundred’s of these guys, and they’re wearing, some have leather things on. That would be the Nam guys, I can tell you. Some had overcoats, it had rained earlier in the morning but the rain had stopped and they had their coats. And the Canadians and the Brits have a lot of berets and based on the insignia’s, that’s where you know which unit or division or company these guys are with. And they had these hundreds of guys. And in the background, I said it was a sergeant, it’s usually the guy doing it, but, like top sergeant or first sergeant. And in the background I could hear him, and he was telling then to ‘attention!’, and everyone of those guys lined up and snapped to attention, young guys, old guys, whatever they were in line. And it was really getting me. And then they had them mark time. And mark time they all started, left, right, in place; mark time’s in place, and they started doing that, all of them, all of these guys that are all lined up. And then he told them to forward march, and all of them started to march. And they march a little different than we do, they swing their arms a little bit more, all of them. And remember, these guys haven’t done this for years, and they’re all doing it. And they let all those hundreds of veterans lead the procession or the parade down in Ottawa, and then what got me is after they leave this place, and they’re marching, all of them, and they’re all in step, I mean old, young. There was a guy pushing a World War Two guy in a wheel chair. And they go, and they go around this corner and there are thousands and thousands and thousands of people in the streets, and they have signs that are saying ‘Thank You’, and it just tore me up. I can’t… It just tore me up. And they were walking just as proud as they could walk. And what it made me think of is, I said, “God, where are we as a nation? Where are we, where have we fallen from? We have fallen from Your grace, we’ve lost You, Lord.” I know it’s not everybody, but the moral and the decay that exists within our nation now, and we are going to pay the price. But I will tell you, I don’t know any veteran whether it’s Canadian or U.S. that if they had to sign up right now as an old guy or a young guy, they’d sign up, and they’d fight for the country they were taught to live for and to die for. And we are losing that so bad that it just breaks my heart. So I wanted to share that because it had a real impact on me. But the impact was more… I just felt… and I know God has brought all this on and He has purpose behind all of it ,and He is sovereign and He sits on His throne, but our nation is just not the nation that we knew and we loved and we cherished and it breaks my heart. So I wanted to share that because it was Veterans’ Day and it just had a real impact on me.