Sumpter Smith JNGB, Ala. --
Today we find ourselves in a very negative charged media environment, coupled with a worldwide pandemic and not to mention right in the middle of a season that causes stress for many. So what do we do?
I want to share with you just a few encouragements from a book titled; “Riding the Dragon” by Robert J. Wick. In chapter two he reminds the reader of a simple truth; “Even the strongest among us must stop for renewal in the oases that dot the parch deserts of life.”1 The oases that we all need are different for each Airman, but I would like to just name a few that are simple and practical that Wick lists.
Quiet walks by yourself.
Spiritual and recreational reading.
Opportunities to laugh offered by movies, cheerful friends, etc.
Listening to music.
The point, renewal is essential even as warriors. I believe that we must remain vital, compassionate and grateful in life in order to make a difference for ourselves and for others. It is a constant message that as warriors our physical fitness is vital, yet a reminder to all is that our mental and spiritual health is key as well! How do we do it? An action that can be taken is to stay “alert to opportunities to drink in the gifts of life so we can meet the extraordinary demands when they arise.”2 Simple things like places and people with who you can laugh, relax, dream and even look to the future with. Hanging out with encouragers, fun-loving folk can go a long way in renewing our energy and purpose. Keeping an eye out for such places in our lives and increasing their presence and use are just common sense.3 Remember; “We can’t share what we don’t have.”4
The reality is yes, people are sick and some are dying. Again common sense is the key to survival, washing of hands and social distancing are really simple.
Inconvenient yes, but not impossible to do. Isolation is hard for everyone at some point so once again we are called upon to go above and beyond to reduce and encourage those in such situations. I assure you fear and panic are not options that should be embraced and will only end and encourage a depressed state of being. Paul in writing to young Timothy in 2 Timothy 2; 7 said; “For God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power and of love and a sound mind.” A pastor friend of mine made this statement and I really like it, he said; “I will live wisely but not in fear.” It is my desire to encourage every Airman to do the same. Don’t binge watch the news reports, limit exposure to enough to meet the need for information then live wisely and not in fear. Again common sense, practical application of prevention measures, and looking for those renewal zones will go a long way in living in the moments we all now face.
In a world that seems to offer everything but peace I would like to end with a statement found in the Gospel of John 14:7; “Peace I leave with you”. For people of faith these words have proven true through the ages time and time again. He offers peace in the middle of all that goes on around us each and every day!
May we live wisely and not in fear!
1Wick, Robert, J. “Riding The Dragon” Sorin Books, Notre Dame, Indiana. (2003)