Recently, I was at the base newcomer’s briefing to present on behalf of the chapel. I arrived early and was able to listen to our Vice Commander, Col. Keagan McLeese and Command Chief, Chief Master Sgt. Daniel Weimer speak to the Airmen new to Luke AFB. Colonel McLeese began to speak about working and living with intention and spoke a profound statement. He said, “You can do the right thing at the right time for the wrong reason.”
Each of us have experienced this, whether by our own actions or from the actions of others. I had an experience like this at Officer Training School a few years ago. My roommates and I were preparing for a room inspection and had a difference of opinion on how to fold the green duffle bag. I knew that I was right and figured if they would not listen, then they can bear the consequences for their actions.
As one of our MTI’s rolled through and picked apart our room, he zeroed in on the green duffle bags. He noticed one was correct and the other was not. I stood there beaming with pride only to be met with the question, “Why did you leave your Airmen behind?” I did the right thing at the right time, yet I did not do it for the right reason. I neglected to live out the core value of service before self and as a chaplain, that stings a little more because of the calling I have accepted.
In my faith tradition, there is a letter in the book of Revelation written to a church that had the right beliefs, the right actions, but the wrong intent. Jesus speaks to them and says they have forgotten to love and if it is not fixed, then they will lose their light to the world.
It can be easy to go through the motions in the Air Force. Another shift, another jet to work on, another day of CBTs, another day of loading equipment or components for aircraft. The work we do can become mundane and lose its purpose when we “Do the right thing at the right time for the wrong reason.”
May we be encouraged to remember our call and our purpose. We were never meant to live on autopilot, distanced from our purpose and call that has been placed on us as maintainer, flight chief, OIC, or superintendent. We were meant to live with purpose and with the right intent in everything we do in order to have purpose in our lives.
If you are feeling like you have lost your purpose, your intent, or your reason, then contact the Chapel at 623-856-6211 to speak with a Chaplain. Our goal is to help you be spiritually fit in a world that is full of troubles and hardships. You don’t need to walk it alone. We’re here for you.