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Commentary: Spiritual grit

  • Published
  • By Chaplain McCafferty
  • 910th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

“These patients have turned away from outer reality; it is for this reason that they are more aware than we of inner reality, and can reveal to us things which without them would remain impenetrable.”

                                                                                                                        —Sigmund Freud

            We all understand and are guided by life as we know it. We fulfill a sizable number of roles; Airman, spouse, parent, sibling, child, coach, volunteer, friend, to name a few. We also perform a daunting number of activities; responsibilities, tasks, recreations, pursuits, hobbies, and relationships that accompany our many roles. Together, these roles and activities form an understanding of and routine in the world that we engage. The sum total of these comprises our reality that we create and experience as much as God’s grace allows us. Normally, during the holiday season, we get even busier and more divided in our roles. We have so much to accomplish. It can feel like all of the “juggling pins in the air” or “plates spinning upon the stakes” pushes us to the brink.

            However, this year will most likely be profoundly different for most, if not all of us. To a significant degree, COVID-19 has changed this one hectic pace. All that was our previous reality has been touched, altered, or even upended because of its impact. This includes the present we knew as well as the future we anticipated. What we do well to watch out for is what we find ourselves doing and thinking when we no longer are perpetually pushed from one activity to the other. When we have more downtime than usual, are we looking for meaningful ways to invest in our spiritual fitness or growth in other arenas? How we answer will make all the difference in our perspectives and mood elevation to carry us through lonely or difficult times.

Yes, it is a challenge; but it can also serve as a pivotal time for God to reveal truths to us previously hidden. The new reality that we now experience can allow us to hear new things, think new thoughts, see through new eyes, and consider new ways to approach life and ministry that would not have entered our vision. Rightly perceived, this is a blessing from God above who can realign our perspective so that we can finally receive them. In accordance with the scriptures, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2). Let us rejoice in the opportunity God sets before us to know His will and ourselves in new and more complete ways.