The Wannabe Phenomenon

The Wannabe Phenomenon

Renowned author, educator, and cultural commentator Dr. William Bennett recently made anamazing observation of the “wannabe” phenomenon. He had somehow gleaned the fact that,on any given week-end in the bars and nightclubs across America, several thousand young men would claim to be navy SEALs. Since there are only about 2500 SEALs total one can only conclude…there must be a lot of SEAL wannabes.

Recently there have been numerous stories in the news of men who would assemble military uniforms of a combat unit in order to assume an identity in public, an identity that was patently false. The new leader of the Veteran’s Administration was recently caught in a lie claiming that he had served in Special Forces. Although he had completed Ranger School and had served in the 82nd Airborne, he had never served in a Ranger Battalion or in Special Forces. A Green Beret A few years ago I was serving as a ministry leader in a local church and came to know a young man about 32 years old. He often wore a navy blue cap embroidered with “Navy SEAL Instructor” on the front. I used to work with SEALs in combat so it was not unusual that I was drawn to him with the idea of discipleship. His story was that, while serving as a navy SEAL, he was injured in a training accident and was then temporarily re-assigned as a SEAL instructor.

Though plausible, the more I thought about his story the more specific questions I began to ask like, “what was your BUDS Class Number?” etc. Then one day he asked to meet with the men’s ministry leader and me where he tearfully confessed and asked for forgiveness…he just wanted out from under the lie he had been living. This man had served in the navy, had a wonderful wife and two lovely children, and had started a thriving business. However, the lie was stealing, killing, and destroying all that was really life to him.

Why would any man want to be a “wannabe” when he can be a “can be”? I am reminded of several scriptures that speak to this reality…If any man be in Christ he is a new creation…do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…you are God’s artistic masterpiece, created in Christ to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do…I can do all things thru Christ who gives me strength…for openers.

While we might occasionally day dream about some movie character like Maximus, or some historical figure like William Wallace, the reality is that our wives, our children, our friends, our neighbors, our churches…all are looking to men to be their “real life action hero” every day.

That is exactly what I told the young navy SEAL wannabe. He became and remains today a “can be”…an active Christ follower…the real life action hero that he was born to be. Truth

Barney Barnes, 3-15-15

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