JOITN BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska —
The "Chaplain's Corner" offers perspectives to enhance spiritual/religious resiliency in support of Air Force and Army Comprehensive Fitness programs.
Comments regarding specific beliefs, practices, or behaviors are strictly those of the author and do not convey endorsement by the U.S. government, the Department of Defense, the Army, the Air Force, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, or the 673d Air Base Wing.
A few weeks ago, I was able to spend a small amount of time with about 200 children during Vacation Bible School at the Arctic Warrior Chapel.
As I was there, I got to thinking about how this was such a great venue for parents to bring their children to hear and learn about the word of God as is told from the perspective of the Christian faith.
It was a great program filled with enjoyment. Children were invited to use their imaginations as the ventured through the terrain of Mount Everest - using their imaginations to climb the summit as they learned about how to conquer challenges with God's mighty power.
It was so neat getting to see the kids have fun; singing songs, playing games, and getting along well with one another. I even got the CD with the music from VBS and played it in the car for my own kids.
From my own experience, I know that there is no greater feeling than watching your children having fun - getting excited about learning and seeing the glimmer in their eyes or the expression on their faces when they understand something for the first time.
With that said, I know also that we as a military community don't always get to experience those moments.
I'm not talking about those times that we are at work and something happens on a particular day. I am talking about those times when TDYs and deployments take us away for days and months at a time from our loved ones - from those little ones for whom we care so much. I know that I personally missed each of my kids' first birthdays.
So, what do we do knowing that those moments will sometimes be missed?
Let us seize the moments that we do have. Let us take hold of the moments that we are given and spend them wisely.
Benjamin Franklin, a prominent figure in the history of America, wrote, "You may delay, but time will not, and lost time is never found again."
It is so easy to say, "I will make time, but not now. There will be time later for doing so," or "I've got plenty of time to..." We are not guaranteed the time that we think we have.
From the Christian scriptures one can read about how life is compared to a mist or a vapor, here one moment and gone the next. James 4:13-15 reads, "Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.' Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.'"
The author acknowledges that tomorrow is not a guarantee.
We are now in the midst of summer, and here in Alaska, those summer months go by quickly.
How are you and I going to spend that time? Parents, take time to spend with the kids; as a family. Life is too short and I am told that time flies by quickly.
I even hear if you blink, your toddler will turn into a teenager (that's the word on the street). My hope for all of us here at JBER is to take advantage of the time we have now.
While we may not share similar faith traditions, or have exactly the same values, I would like to extend an invitation to allow for the chaplains on this installation to assist you, should you need support during any and all such storms that may come up swiftly and seemingly without warning.
We are here to help build spiritual resiliency as a way to help you live life well.