September 6, 2018

Chaplain’s thoughts …

Courtesy of Chaplain (Maj.) R. John Boyer
56th Fighter Wing Chapel

What choice will you make?

Not many people know this, and please don’t tell my mom — but during my freshman year of college, I almost got kicked out! Apparently, they’re serious when they tell you to go to class, and read books … who knew?!

The dean of students called me into his office, and told me he would let me stay in college under one condition, “You have to read this book, and give me a report of what you have read,” he said. Then he gave me a copy of “Living Above the Level of Mediocrity,” by Charles Swindoll. At that moment, I was willing to do whatever the dean asked me to do to stay in college, even if it included reading another book. But this book was different. God used the words of the author to speak to me, and it helped to change the entire trajectory of my life.

The author, a minister and former Marine, explains that every day, we have a choice. We have a choice in how we approach our day, and how we will choose to live. We have a choice in what goals we will set for our life, and if we have the discipline to achieve them.

We all know that in life, there are so many things that are out of our control. We can’t control our past, or our failures, or how people treat us. We can’t always control our future, or even our present circumstances, but there is one thing … one choice we have control over each day, and it is perhaps the greatest choice we’ve been given — our attitude.

Swindoll says, “Ten percent of life is what happens to us, and 90 percent is how we react to it.” This means our greatest success each day is not found in our present situation, or what condition we find ourselves in, but rather the kind of attitude we embrace along the journey. Faced with a situation of anger, resentment or even hatred? Choose love. Faced with bitterness, cynicism or jealousy? Choose joy. Faced with animosity, hostility or offense? Choose peace. Each of us goes through trials and difficulties in life, and so the next time you find yourself in a situation beyond your control, take a breath, and remind yourself, “I am in control of my attitude.”

Having a positive attitude is what enables some people to endure the most difficult circumstances life has to offer. Faith is another. Are you facing a problem or situation that feels overwhelming? Are you going through trouble that feels inescapable? You’re not alone. Maybe it’s time to talk with a chaplain or religious affairs Airman? We can help you in your pursuit of seeking a positive attitude, and providing encouragement along the road of faith. We’re not perfect, as you can see — remember, I almost got kicked out of college — but we can help walk along this road of life with you. We care about your spiritual fitness, and we can help encourage you when life gets you down. We have a heavenly calling to care about you, and we’re here for you … 24/7.

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