Having a ‘spiritual home’ is important for resiliency

| May 8, 2015 | 0 Comments


Chaplain (Capt.) Joanna M. Forbes
209th Aviation Support Battalion
25th Combat Aviation Brigade
25th Infantry Division


Have you seen the movie trailer online that people around the world stood in line for hours to see?

Did you see the “Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens” trailer, and then re-watch it, savoring Luke’s voiceover, scouring each image for details, rejoicing at its last words: “Chewie, we’re home”?

Speaking of home, where is home and what is it?

There’s the old saying, “Home is where the heart is.”

I once saw a plaque in an Army family’s home that read, “Home is where the Army sends us.” And beneath that were hung smaller plaques with the family’s duty stations.

For Han Solo and Chewbacca in the new “Star Wars”trailer, home seems to be setting off for adventures in the Millennium Falcon – a familiar place with familiar people heading off into a familiar situation – danger.

I’ve noticed that, as wonderful as Hawaii is, living here can be hard for Soldiers and their families. Their family and friends are a couple thousand miles – and a thousand dollar plane ticket – away. When life’s challenges come, as they do on full-auto, at times, being that far from home can make coping hard and turn a situation devastating.

As science conducts more research on resiliency, we have come to understand that spiritual resiliency is a key part of a person’s complete resiliency. Spirituality provides critical support to a person’s sense of wholeness and well-being. It lends a person the ability to cope with stress and a positive outlook on life. Having a “spiritual home,” therefore, is important.

For people of religious faith, a spiritual home can be found in their faith community, a place where they receive a message that uplifts and encourages them, and interact with people who care about them and share a mutual vision for the world.

For Christians, that spiritual home is where God promises to be present in and among God’s people as the living word, Jesus, as described in the Gospel of John:

“And the Word became flesh and lived among us.” — John 1:14

In English, we call it church. Going to church is not about the building, but about getting together with the people. However, it’s not just Christians, but practitioners of all religions, who find comfort and strength in getting together with others of that religion.

In gathering with believers, people can strengthen their knowledge of their sacred writings, deepen their prayer life, share their talents with the congregation and serve others in need. In the process, you might even make some new friends – building not just spiritual resiliency, but social resiliency, too!

No matter how you define home or where you find it, no matter where the Army sends you, a spiritual home should be a part of your life. You can always talk with your unit’s chaplain or chaplain assistant about where to start looking for one.

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Category: Footsteps in Faith, News, Standing Columns

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