Chaplain’s thoughts … April 15, 2016

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“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”

~Maya Angelou

We live in a fast-paced world.  As airmen we operate in a competitive environment where high performance and expertise is required both for mission accomplishment and for career development.  The older I get, as family and work demands pile up, I find myself more and more engrossed in all the details and agendas of life.  I try to write everything down on my calendar and keep detailed notes of my responsibilities so no matter who asks me a question, I have the answer.  I always want to be prepared to meet the needs of my family and my job.  Sometimes late at night I stop and think, “I can’t believe I’m already this age that my kids are already their ages, where has the time gone?”  One of the consequences of living such fast-paced, responsibility-focused lifestyles is that we often neglect to slow down and take a deep breath once in a while.

Maya Angelou might not show up in many military newspapers but the first time I read the phrase above it hit me square in the face.  We can take a lesson from her wise words that while yes it is very important to work hard and to take care of our responsibilities like mature adults, it’s also very important to remember the simple joys of living: a beautiful sunset, a smile from your significant other or child, a good conversation with a friend.  Birds don’t sing beautifully because they have an answer, they sing because they have a song.  Take a few moments to remember which simple things really inspire you…and then take a moment to evaluate if you are “singing”, if the natural joy and satisfaction that comes from those things is emanating from you like a bird singing in a tree.  I hope you will take the time occasionally to simply be; to enjoy the simple things that can make life oh so sweet; that will put a song in your heart.

Thank you for your service and sacrifice.