Back To Basics - B2B

 In the spring of ’99, I was in the middle of my second overseas deployment when one day I received a call from Colonel Richard Stocchetti who was assigned to the Office of Inspector General (IG), HQ Air Force Material Command (AFMC) at Wright-Patterson AFB.  I had never met Col Stocchetti before, had no idea who he was, but it became quickly apparent that he knew who I was as he had pulled my personnel file.  The reason why Col Stocchetti called was to offer me a job on his staff as the IG Logistics Branch Chief.  I had zero experience with the IG but was intrigued by their work as well as the opportunity to do something new and different once I rotated back to the states.  At the end of the discussion I told him that I would gladly take the assignment.
Fast-forward to late summer of that year as I’m now getting my feet wet in my new job, and trying to remember where the bathrooms were in the sprawling HQ AFMC building, when one day Col Stocchetti dropped a report on my desk, instructed me to become familiar w/ it and oh, by-the-way, I’m now responsible for implementing tasker #13 in it.  The report detailed how poor the workmanship had slipped in our five air depots around the country to the point that we even lost two aircraft but thankfully no loss of life.  My job was to “fix it!”  I was tasked w/ standing-up a whole new inspection program to bring the depots back-in-line, or as we referred to it as, Back-to-Basics (B2B).  This program had to be formulated from scratch as we had nothing to base it off of, I only had two enlisted personnel to dedicate to the task and oh yeah, we had four months to git ‘er done.  Well fortunately those two enlisted, CMSgt Tim Gray and MSgt Mark Henderson, were two of the most brilliant men I ever had the pleasure of working with.  And thankfully I had the common sense to keep my mouth shut and learn from them.  I was the front man (Hmm, eye-candy???  Nah!) but the program was truly Tim and Mark’s brain-child.  The program, titled Maintenance Standardization and Evaluation Program or MSEP for short, was a huge success and brought the quality of the depot products back to the level of what was needed/expected of them.
Well what does this have to do w/ being a Christ-follower?  
Do we need to do a gut-check inspection of our life and maybe some of our own B2B?  And yes, even as I sit here and write this, I might have one finger pointing at you but I have three pointing back at me as I know I’m not where I want to be, where I need to be.  So what can be done to get back on track?  
Well it seems to come down to two basic commandments which go hand-in-hand.  Starting w/ Psalm 1:1-2, we read, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.”  This passage takes a commitment on our part to dwell in the Lord by immersing ourselves in Him through the studying of the Bible as well as other Bible-oriented readings/commentaries/devotions, etc.  But there is a second part and that is we need to be careful how we order our life.  Notice the first part of this passage states that we are to NOT align ourselves with, or in my interpretation--follow the direction of, non-Christians.  Now we can certainly have friends who are non-Christians and I would argue that that is our “mission field.”  If we totally cut ourselves off from non-believers, how might they come to Christ?  We might be depriving them of the *Paul (planter) or Apollos (waterer) in us that they need at the moment.  *see 1 Cor 3:5-7 
And secondly, in the middle of a number of exhortations, Paul reminds us in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to simply, “pray without ceasing”.  It’s in those quiet moments where we shut-out all the worldly distractions that we can most clearly hear God speaking to us to guide our path, to give our life purpose and direction.
So what is the end result of this?  Psalm 119:11, “I have stored up your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” And Philippians 4:9, “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me--practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”