Beliefnet
Inspiration Report

Have you ever wondered what it takes to serve aboard a Navy submarine? To even be eligible, hopefuls must pass a rigorous series of psychological evaluations, intensive courses, and grueling tests. And once aboard, crewmen shoulder an 18-hour schedule that is divided into 6 hours of sleep, 6 hours of work, and 6 hours of training, drills, and sometimes a little free time.

According to Navy officials, these sailors are some of the most highly trained people in the Navy—training that is very necessary when operating in the deadly depths of the world’s oceans. The training involved is both technical and broad, as each member of the crew must possess the knowledge required to operate and service every piece of equipment aboard in order to respond to emergencies.

In short, it’s a hard job that only the best members of the U.S. Navy can do.

One of these highly skilled servicemen is Chesapeake, Virginia native and native and Deep Creek High School graduate Shea Roach, who now serves aboard the USS Tennessee—one of the world’s most advanced ballistic missile submarines.

Petty Officer 1st Class Roach is a nuclear-trained machinist’s mate whose duties include operating, repairing, and maintaining his submarine’s propulsion machinery and related equipment—he keeps the reactor systems of the vessel running smoothly. And that’s no small tasks when your’re running hundreds of feet below the surface of the ocean.

The challenges of serving aboard a submarine are great, but so is the reward. These men—and now women, as well—give up the sun, eschewing the surface world in service to the greater good. And in giving up the sky for a few months in a dark, metal tube, they help safeguard our nation by ensuring the Navy’s submarines are operating at their best and are ready to respond to any emergency at a moment’s notice.

But despite the sacrifice, cramped conditions, and long hours, Shea Roach is focused on the bigger picture, and remains positive about his position. “The best part of being stationed on the submarine is the closeness of this group of people,” says Roach, according the Navy Office of Community Public Affairs. “The Navy has opened my eyes to different cultures and given me the opportunity to work with people from different backgrounds.”

Submariners typically deploy for six months at a time, during which they conduct a variety of missions vital to the security of the nation. Nuclear-powered submarines are powerful vessels that are limited only by the amount of food they are able to store aboard—their reactors last for the life of the ship, and air and water are constantly generated. The Navy’s ballistic missile submarines—affectionately called “boomers,” according to the Navy—act as undetectable launch platforms for intercontinental ballistic missiles, and are designed for stealth and extended missions.

This is one job that this Virginia will likely remember for the rest of his life—as much for the cramped spaces and shared bunks as for the opportunity to serve his country in one of the most unique and challenging ways possible.

A statue of a 4-foot-tall, 250-pound bronzed girl in a wind-tossed ponytail is not going anywhere New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on April 2. “In her short time here, ‘Fearless Girl’ has fueled powerful conversations about women in leadership and inspired so many. Now, she’ll be asserting herself and affirming her strength even after her temporary permit expires — a fitting path for a girl who refuses to quit,” his office said in a statement.”

The famous statue stares down the famous 11-foot-tall Wall Street “Charging Bull” in support of gender diversity. For some, the bull is a symbol of male dominance in the corporate America like Cristina Pogorevic, who comes from Bucharest, Romania. She told Fox 6 New York in an interview: “She is a message of women’s power and things that are changing in the world right now.”

In what was supposed to be a brief appearance to celebrate International Woman’s Day and to send a message to corporate America about workplace gender diversity, now will have a home in Manhattan’s Financial District until February 2018. Initiated by State Street Global Advisors, an investment management division of State Street Corporation and the world’s third largest asset manager, has been vocal about seeing more women in leadership roles. The statue also celebrated the first anniversary of the Gender Diversity Index fund that “invests in U.S. large-capitalization companies that rank among the highest in their sector in achieving gender diversity across senior leadership.”

One visitor from Australia explained to Fox 6 that the indignant girl symbolizes strength. “Standing up against something and we see her as a powerful image. She represents all the young women in the world that want to make a difference.”

But not everyone is a fan.

One artist blasted the statue as being a gimmick. “That is not a symbol! That’s an advertising trick,” “Charging Bull” creator Arturo Di Modica told Market Watch.”Women, girls, that’s great, but that’s not what that (my sculpture) is. I put it there for art. My bull is a symbol for America. My bull is a symbol of prosperity and for strength.”

Kristen Visbal created the statue, which was only permitted to remain for a week on March 22, but it was extended by the city’s Street Activity Permit Office through April 2, The Daily News reported.

Whether it is a marketing ploy or not, “Fearless Girl,” is persuading women to stand up to gender bias and that they can make a difference.

The girl with her hands on her hips standing in defiance will live on.

 

Faith-man-praying-church

What is your favorite book? Movie? Color? Band? Fast-food restaurant? Way to cook your eggs? Yes, I just asked you how you like your eggs.

So, how do you like your eggs?

When you set out to plan your day – or even your week – what is it that you want to do most? Even deeper than that – what is your dream?

I didn’t ask you what your dream is for your kids, spouse, church or work – I want to know what your dream is, and if you still even know what it is? What were you put here on earth to do?

Now, if you are struggling with coming up with answers for any of the above, know that you are not alone. Especially if you are a busy mom, knee deep in daily duties and driving demands, you are not alone.

And yes, I understand I was never a mom – but I was a very involved dad in the lives of our four kids. Every morning it was my responsibility to get them ready for school, bundle them into the car and drive them where they needed to go. And every evening after work, I focused on dedicated family time – devotions around the table, play time with them on the floor wrestling or beating them at board games (okay, sometimes I let them win!).

And for years, I had homework duty too. Yes, I understand how it feels to sit for hours after a long day at work – glued to the dinner table with a restless child night after night, year after year trying everything you can to help the one who struggles with attention-deficit-disorder grasp the importance of perseverance and learning. I understand the things that keep parents up at night, unable to sleep – concerned whether or not their children will be equipped to fulfill their dreams. These concerns and passions of parenting, marriage and relationships at church or work can be all-consuming for so long that eventually you wake up one day and realize you’ve forgotten about your dreams, passions and your destiny to fulfill. Just making it through the day is enough.

I get it. I know how it is to attend PTA meetings, school events, sporting events and church events so much that you don’t have enough energy left over to think about yourself anymore.

Dream?

Only when sleeping.

Purpose? Passion? Eaten up by the daily demands of living a life well, and living a life for others. Which is good. It’s just that it is easy to forget what used to inspire you, drive you or even bring you hope.

It’s easy to forget the you in you.

So that’s why I want to remind you, my friend, that God has a destiny for you. He has a purpose and a plan for you. He has something for you that maximizes your skills, personality, experiences, passions and compassions in a way like no one else ever could.

Sure, it may not happen tomorrow. Nor will you get there by going in a straight line. This is because God sets twists and turns in all our lives that provide opportunities for us to grow, mature, be humbled, learn, develop, surrender, gain confidence and more. I call these twists and turns “detours.”

You know what a detour is. Detours are unanticipated routes that take us another way to our intended destination. It’s either a sign you come up on, a person who steers you elsewhere, or a police car with lights flashing sitting there to let you know the road you are traveling is no longer available. Inevitably, they are also a roadbump to our emotions. Because of the detour, you and I must go off the beaten path, take longer than we had wished to, and be inconvenienced more than we had hoped.

Few of us like to be stalled, for any reason. Even if it’s just someone cutting us off in traffic and forcing us to slow down. But detours are necessary if any improvement is going to be made on the paths we travel. Or if any wreck is going to be cleaned up or hazard avoided. Detours are designed for our own good on the roads of life regardless of how we view them.

Detours are a good thing that often feel bad.

This is because it is in your detour that you become developed for your destiny.

You learn patience, compassion, kindness, gratitude and all those wonderful things that empower you to fully live out your dream. You may feel that your life right now is on one ongoing detour … serving the needs of others, setting your own hopes aside. But, just like for Joseph whom God positioned from the pit to the palace, God has a plan for every moment in your life as well. Yes, even the most mundane and monotonous ones.

God is taking you straight to your destiny … in His ever-Godlike-zig-zagging-sort-of-way. So keep your eyes open as you learn to look for His hand in the midst of happenstance so that your hope remains steadfast and your heart remains full.

Article written by Tony Evans.

Today’s guest blogger is poet Tara Sophia Mohr

Learn more about Tara’s poetry