A few months ago, I received an email from LT Sam Alexander, USN, wanting to tell me how much appreciated hearing the stories on this podcast—especially in a hectic environment where it’s not always easy to make time for the Lord, as he says.
Today, Sam will share some of his story, and he’ll give a peek into submarine culture, how isolation can have an impact on one’s faith, and the importance of developing a spiritual support system or a mentoring relationship.
As you listen to Sam’s story of military life at the intersection of faith, family, and profession, here are a few questions to ponder:
- Reflect upon a time when you felt isolated, whether by the circumstance of life or because of duty requirements. Was your focus on only getting through it, or allowing God to speak to you through the circumstances? Would you react differently today if confronted with a similar situation?
- When the struggles of life come upon us, why is it easier to focus on a job, or the busyness of life, rather than spend time with God? What does our response to that say about our relationship with Him?
- Sam refers to Nehemiah and his leadership in the rebuilding of the wall in Jerusalem, that it was not about him, but rather focused on the mission and the king he served. Why is a kingdom mindset of mission and focus upon those you both serve and lead so important in Christlike leadership?
- Get to know your sailors. Be approachable. Be vulnerable—unafraid to share your fears. In what ways do those leadership attributes Sam mentioned contribute toward building community among those in isolated duty stations?
- Sam talks about the iron sharpening iron power (Proverbs 27:17) “that can mold you into something better” from seeking out community, valuing deep friendships, and in mentoring. What keeps you from these relationships if you avoid them—fear, distrust, self-sufficiency? Have you ever thought about bringing this before the Lord?