Drills, Drills, Drills

With it being the beginning of a new school year, there are drills taking place all around me.  Principals are making sure the students and staff are protected from weather events and other unwanted hazards by conducting emergency drills.  Coaches are getting ready for games by running play drills.  Marching bands are learning this season’s show by learning their formations known as “drill”. And somewhere, on a military base, soldiers are marching in drill formation all over the base. Each of the drills I mentioned are practiced for a purpose.  That purpose could be for protection, to make a form on a football field, win a game, or show discipline while moving from one position to another.

Band Nerd and Proud of It

I found a definition of the word drill that I like.  It says, “a drill is a means of teaching and training through repeated exercise or repetition of an act.” Repetition can be a bad word!  I remember back to my high school marching band days.  We would literally spend hours learning our drill out in the hot Tennessee summer sun.  Our director would break our drill down by each individual set (or picture) of our show.  I will never forget being so aggravated over having to repeat the same 4 count move for hours, waiting on everyone to get it right.  You never wanted to be called out as the “reason” the director would say “AGAIN”. But through repetition, we finally got it.  Those hours of repetition of drill paid off in our competitions.  When our oldest son joined band, I laughed and laughed the first time he complained of having to do the same 4 counts over and over again.  His former director had the saying of “One Mo’ ‘Gin”. (To get that phrase the way it’s pronounced imagine a fresh out of college guy trying to sound cool yet stern at the same time).  That has become a fun phrase in our household between my oldest and I.

Today, while dropping my youngest children off at school, I was reminded of all those drills I have been a part of.  (Triggered by a kindergartner that pulled the fire alarm this morning). Some of those drills have been very informative.  Some have been very painful, physically and mentally.  At times, those drills have made me want to give up and quit.  I learned though that if I would stick with it the end result would be worth all the agony.

God’s Practice Drills

Now, in this season of my life, God is pointing out His drills.  There have been so many times in my life that I have gone through a repeat-a-trial, or so it seems.  I will find myself dealing with the same valley that I had been in the year prior, or the months prior.  Do you ever feel that way? Have you ever felt like asking God, “Seriously, Again?!”  I have felt that way plenty of times.

The very first time we face that trial it is really really hard to go through and understand.  Our physical bodies and emotional state may not be ready.  We find ourselves feeling weak.  We get tired.  We just want the trial to be over.  In that “drill” of life, whether we know it or not, God has taught us something.

Then we turn around and we face that same drill again.  It’s still hard, we are still weak, and it may still hurt.  This time around though, it may not be as hard or hurt as bad.  And we find that we may be just a little bit stronger.  We can remember that we made it through the last time and we can make it again.  The end result may still not be what we hoped for, but we did not give up.

So, then the trials returns for the 3rd, 4th, or maybe 5th time.  Each time we are reminded of the pain, hurt, and weakness, but we can also be reminded of the hope.  The hope that God has brought us through this before, and He will do it again.  There is now hope etched in your soul.  Your memory bank triggers the “it’s going to be ok” response.  You find that you can breath a little easier.

So why then do we have to go through the same thing over and over again?  Maybe we are like that 4 count drill.  There are only 4 easy steps to take, but along the way, we missed a step, or turned right when we should have turned left.   We haven’t fully learned the lesson God has intended us to learn.  We may have learned bits and pieces but maybe not quite the whole lesson yet.  There may even be trials or drills in your life that are meant to teach someone else the complete lesson.

Read All of Philippians Chapter 4

We each face drills in our lives from God.  He lets us go through the drills to teach us to fight temptation.  He allows us to face those trials to make us a better soldier in His army.  He wants us to be the best for Him and through Him.  In Philippians 4:9 it reads, “Do what you have learned and received and heard form Me, and seen in Me, and the God of peace will be with you.”  I find that so wonderful to know, that if I will work through the drills he places in my path, and I DO what He has taught me, His peace will be with me.

When you find yourself repeating the same drill again, don’t give up.  Don’t give in.  Keep the faith.  Pray and rely on Him.  He will guide you and the end result, once the complete lesson has been taught, will be amazing! So if practice makes us perfect, and Jesus was the only one that was perfect,   then practice makes us like Jesus.

In His love and laughter,


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