March 3, 2016

Chaplain’s thoughts …

Courtesy of Chaplain (1st Lt.) Derek VanderMolen
56th Fighter Wing Chapel

“Discipline teaches us to operate by principle rather than desire.”

~ John MacArthur Jr.

Shortly after my wife and I got married, she decided I would be the lesser of two evils to handle our finances. My father-in-law gently, or not so gently, suggested I take a financial planning class by signing me up and paying for it. The class was really helpful and during the first session’s video something was said that really stuck with me. It talked about how being disciplined is not necessarily an enjoyable thing.

It’s not all that fun to eat modest portions of food, to stick to a schedule in order to be on time and prepared for work, or to stick to a budget to ensure a healthy financial future. Discipline is important because of what it produces. This idea is certainly well in line with what most of the major world religions would teach about a successful and fruitful life.

As Airmen, it might not always be fun to employ the kind of discipline necessary to succeed in the world’s finest Air Force and in life. However, when we equip ourselves with the right long-term perspective, discipline becomes a necessary tool to embody our core values of integrity, service and especially excellence. Even though it’s not all that fun to get up early to work out three days a week, or easy to get in bed on time to get the sleep you need, or motivating to go above and beyond at work, employing discipline in your life and work will produce success for you and continued achievement of our mission as an Air Force.

Each generation of Americans since our Founding Fathers has had to answer the call of defending freedom and liberty. We face serious challenges today just as we have throughout our history, but with the right perspective and a disciplined approach, we will continue to be the greatest nation and military the world has ever known. That’s an incredibly high calling and heavy responsibility, but it’s precisely why it is such an honor to wear the cloth of our nation.

Thank you for your service and sacrifice.

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