Chaplain’s thoughts … Getting back up


“It’s not how many times you get knocked down that counts. It’s how many times you get back up.”

~ George A. Custer,
19th century American Cavalry commander

Getting back up is an indispensable quality.  We must acquire this quality or suffer for its lack.  This quality will serve you well, it will enable you to overcome the obstacles of life.

Getting knocked down can take place in so many ways.  It may be a relationship that goes sour, or the death of a loved one, it could be a career setback, or a health crisis.  It could be one catastrophic event, or a series of unfortunate events that bring you to the breaking point with the proverbial “last straw.”  Either way, we sometimes find ourselves on the mat of life, with only two options: get back up or quit.   

As Airmen, quitting isn’t an option.  So how do we get back up?  How do we overcome the setbacks that come our way?  Consider two thoughts with me today.  First, we are by nature and training, strong and resilient. Please personalize this by saying, “I am strong.”  The reality is, you have overcome challenges in the past and will overcome more challenges in the future.  Indeed life teaches us that we are stronger than we think.  As the old adage goes, you don’t know what you can do, until you have to do it.  So remember, you are strong.

Secondly, hold to your core values.  Core values are non-negotiable principles that guide us in every circumstance of life, whether good or bad.  As Airmen, we are taught the Air Force Core Values from our first days in the military.  Our core values of integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do are essential for Airmen to meet the demanding requirements of military service.

As a chaplain, my core values are informed by my faith.  A faith that assures me that whether in this life or the next, I am loved and cared for by an eternally gracious Savior. My faith teaches me that I serve a Sovereign Lord who superintends over my life in ways far beyond my ability to think or imagine.  So whether in this life or the next, I’m covered, that pretty much addresses every eventuality; kind of cool if you ask me.

So remember, you are strong, hold to your core values, and finally, remember you are not alone.  Your chapel team is here to help you walk through the rough spots of life.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Thank you for your service and sacrifice.