Footsteps in Faith: Holidays should strengthen our sense of community

| December 23, 2016 | 0 Comments


Chaplain (Maj.) Scott Kennaugh
3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team
25th Infantry Division
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — With the holiday seasons upon us, our thoughts turn to family, and relationships and community.

In many ways, these are the most important parts of our lives, but that doesn’t make them the easiest part of our lives.
Yet, we are made to be with each other in community, rather than pressing ahead alone through life, so it’s worth taking a moment to think about how relationships work best together.

Not alone  
One simple step is to keep in mind that none of us are complete by ourselves, and we need the skills and abilities of others to help fill in the gaps in our lives.

I was trying to make plans with a friend, recently, to schedule a farewell event at the chapel. He said we needed to change the date because he had not consulted with Household-6 beforehand – which is Army speak for the “Commander” at home.  This was a simple scheduling tangle that made me realize God’s wisdom in giving us guys good wives.

Footsteps in FaithMy mind flashed to the Bible account of creation, where it says God made Eve to be a “suitable helper” for Adam. With my imagination filling between the lines, I could see God looking down at Adam, all by himself in the garden, and thinking, “This guy is never going to figure all this out for himself.”

It takes some humility to admit that we need other people, but that’s part of the strength of life in community. It goes both directions when we are living well together: Other people support us, and we contribute to the satisfaction and joy of others with whom we share life together.

We are all busy, hard pressed in many directions, frazzled by the speed of “fun” events during these holidays. But for some perspective, even now, take a slow breath and think of two people you appreciate who have supported you this week.
Do you take them as acts you deserved, or with gratitude as blessings?

Now a second pause: Think of two people you have supported this week, who appreciate your goodness to them. Was it out of compulsion or charity that you contributed in those relationships?

We are told that we should think of others more highly than we think of ourselves. This is the oil that smooths our relationships, that makes life together in community flow, that eases the pressure and heat of “the grind,” even in the holidays, as we give and receive grace with each other.

Better than gifts wrapped in ribbon, this holiday season the more meaningful gifts to give are appreciation for others who complete you, and the generous acts you give for others to appreciate.
(Editor’s note: Kennaugh is the brigade chaplain for 3IBCT.) 

Tags: , ,

Category: Footsteps in Faith

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *