It begins on Sunday night. Lights flash on as recruits are awakened by their instructor. Next to one ear, a machine gun filled with blanks is fired. A jet from a garden hose is flushing the other ear. An instructor shouts, “We have a mission to perform tonight. I want you to listen to every word.”
The mission turns out to be exercising and lying wet and almost naked on cold steel plates on a nearby pier. And after an eternity of discomfort, its Monday. With little sleep, the six-man teams are ordered to run races with a 250-pound Zodiac rubber assault boat on their heads. Tuesday, with less than an hour of sleep, they have to row those boats into Mexican waters, 18 miles. Many fall asleep while rowing. Wednesday comes bringing with it more races with those big boats, their goots digging down into soft sand. The evening brings another run, then, at midnight, they are ordered to lie naked in the cold pounding surf. Every ten minutes during the night they have to stand up to get the full effect of the cold win.
And through it all they have a bell strung around their necks. All they have to do to stop the torture is ring the bell three times and they will be out of the program.
By Thursday everyone is hallucinating. And if they make it to Friday, and that’s a big “if, “ they become Navy Seals.”
It’s the closest thing to legalized terrorism you can find. And why is it so tough? Because suffering is the tool of discipline. It’s like that in your Christian life. God disciplines His children and suffering is often the tool he uses.