It was in February 1991 that I embarked on my eleven-year law-enforcement career. Like any other officer in my shoes, I had to go through Bootcamp, or ‘basics’, as it was commonly referred to by recruits. An intensive training programme designed to break you down completely, only to build you up again.

Following orders became automatic. One day blended into the next, becoming progressively more challenging. But some things remained constant. The basics—squaring your bed every morning, cleaning the bungalow you shared with other recruits, drilling for hours on end, running everywhere—were imprinted on you through endless repetition. In time these disciplines started to include weapon drills, CQB (Close Quarter Combat) and arresting techniques, among many others. Becoming just proficient in these new drills was not enough – they had to become instinctive when faced with high-pressure situations.

Days dragged into weeks, and weeks became months. New skills were overlaid upon older, more established ones and cemented together through more mindnumbing repetition. It was only when we started with scenario training that the miracle took place – what seemed impossible at the beginning of basics now seemed effortless. And even then, the basics never stopped. We still ran everywhere. We still squared our beds and cleaned the bungalows every day. But the penny had dropped. We now saw the bigger picture.

But something strange happened when we graduated and were deployed to where we would be working. For many, if not all of us, the priority of paying attention to the basics started to slip. We were busy, with many demands on our time. The disciplines that stood us in such good stead in training now seemed superfluous. Life happened to us. It was not a conscious decision; instead, lack of paying attention to the basics crept up and overtook us without us realising. We quickly found out what separated the professionals (special forces) from the run-of-the-mill officers, and it was undeniable. It was their attention to detail and commitment to continue practising the basic disciplines installed in Bootcamp.

In some ways, the Christian life is not so much different from my years in law enforcement. Paying attention to the basic disciplines of your faith is essential if you want to flourish in your walk with the Lord. Jim Rohn, speaker and author of numerous books, including the bestseller “The Five Major Pieces to The Life Puzzle”, makes the following statement: “Small disciplines lead to great accomplishments. When (ordinary) people give care and attention to important matters, their own growth into greatness merely awaits the passage of time. Both small disciplines and minor mistakes in judgement tend to accumulate the former to our benefit and the latter to our detriment.”

Determining what small disciplines we should be investing in to be useful for God, where we live, is essential. Getting back to the basics would probably include spending daily time reading God’s Word, seeking His face in prayer and worship, to mention but a few. But for most of us, we probably need some disciplines that are a bit more practical. For me, these include:

  • completing a daily devotional using an app called Lectio 365

  • following a reading plan on YouVersion

  • praying through my prayer lists using apps like InnerRoom or PrayerMate

  • praying with my wife before going to sleep

So why then do we neglect these small disciplines? The answer is as simple as it is profound. The things that are easy to do (and yes, these small disciplines mentioned above are easy to do) are also easy not to do! Here’s one definition of failure: “Failure is nothing more than a few errors in judgement repeated every day.” Rohn then goes on to ask why someone would make an error in judgement and then be foolish enough to repeat it every day? The answer – because he or she “did not think it matters.”

Ouch! I don’t know about you, but that hits pretty close to home. We don’t think it matters, because we don’t see the consequences of us repeating these errors in judgement immediately. And therein lies the problem. Let us not compromise on the little things, just because we think they don’t matter in the bigger scheme of things. They do. May God reveal to us the handful of easy-to-do disciplines that will keep us in the centre of His will for our lives.

Silas is from the global South and is passionate about investing in the lives of the younger generation, specifically in the areas of leadership, discovering your God-given purpose and spiritual growth and maturity. He enjoys reading, developing training resources and spending time with his beautiful wife and twins. Together they’ve travelled the world in obedience to God’s call.

Share this Resource

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on print

Leave a Reply

You might also like:

Other Resources by

Director of Mobilisation Initiatives International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleOverall goal As a part of the Global Brand & Marketing (GBM) leadership team, the Director of Mobilisation Initiatives will lead the innovation, creation, deployment and evaluation (full lifecycle) of initiatives and products which inspire global Jesus followers toward deeper engagement with the OM mission and connect Jesus Followers to their local OM office for further mobilisation services.
Full Details
Communications and Media Manager International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleAre you a motivated, creative self-starter with innovative ideas who enjoys removing obstacles and solving problems? We need someone like you to direct and manage the communication and promotion of our products & services in the hearts and minds of our various stakeholder communities. OM’s Micro enterprise business ministry is passionate about helping people transform, uplift and empower their communities through business. Join us, help renew hope and see lasting change in people's lives.
Full Details
Short-Term Project Manager – Inspiro Arts Alliance International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleCan you imagine managing creative projects around the world? Are you a problem solver, who pays attention to detail and has good people skills? Are you familiar with ethnodoxology? This role manages short-term projects in a variety of artforms and formats – from performance tours to customized training workshops. Some involve international visits with artists. Other projects engage and empower local artists. But all projects seek to honour local art forms in moving people to better love Jesus.
Full Details
Software engineer     Go & Visit    As soon as possibleWe are looking for a Software Engineer to work on a headless CMS that enables ministries to share media with each other and quickly create websites / PWA’s. Using your skills, you will help to strengthen our team and share God’s love with the least reached.
Full Details
Short-term Project Mobiliser – Inspiro Arts Alliance International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleHelp mobilise artists into specialized, artistic short-term mission projects. Inspire, equip and connect artists globally into the right projects, internships and other short-term opportunities.

Inspiro Arts Alliance is cultivating and empowering artists globally to love through beauty in worship and witness.

You can play a key part in building this global movement of artists on mission.

Full Details
Storyteller and Scriptwriter     Go & Visit    As soon as possibleOM EAST is looking for a Storyteller and Scriptwriter to strengthen their team. Working together with our graphic designers, software developers and content editors, you will play a vital role in creating media that share God’s love with the least reached in their heart languages.
Full Details
Videographer – Global Story Team     Go & Visit    As soon as possibleOverall goal As part of the Global Video Network under the Video Coach, the Videographer captures and edits stories around the world as they relate to OM. The videographer will receive and go on assignments that are approved by the Creative Traffic Manager, while upholding the OM brand standards as it relates to visual storytelling. A portion of the role involves helping with pre-production.
Full Details
Event Manager (Run 4 the World – R4TW) International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleWe’re looking for an Events Manager to organize one (or a few) Run for the World (R4TW) events within the serving country/area. If you have skills in event planning, networking and organization, this could be your dream job. Run for the World (R4TW) is an open-source global sports event - running and making a positive impact on the world around you. It is a God-given opportunity to use sport to transform the lives of young people locally and globally.
Full Details
Video Editor – part-time     Go & Visit    As soon as possiblePlay a vital part in creating powerful videos or animations, which help OM teams share God's love with the least reached around the world!
Full Details
Instructional Designer International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleUse your mix of training talent, creative skills, IT savvy and project awareness to design interactive and engaging content to equip our people for mission, online, wherever they are in the world. Instructional Designers with eLearning experience are encouraged to apply. However, training is available for candidates with solid in-person teaching skills.
Full Details
HR Manager for International Relief and Development Partner International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleDo you believe in transforming lives practically and through the Gospel, but your skills are more in management and caring for people? We need someone to help our leadership ensure the health and well-being of their teams, who work in some of the hardest countries in the world, through community development and relief, serving hurting Muslim people. They need someone who has their back! If this is what you are passionate about, join us and put your gifts to use for the Kingdom of God.
Full Details
OMMS Power BI Developer International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleThis role exists to support, by providing analytics and reporting, for Personnel, Finance, Financial Development and Mobilizing.
Full Details