Footsteps of Faith: ‘Exam Time!’ Examine your life

| April 21, 2017 | 0 Comments

My-PicChaplain (Capt.) Jared Vineyard
225th Brigade Support Battalion
2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team
25th Infantry Division
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Work, work, work. Hurry, scurry, labor and worry.

Head to the field, PCS, and over the horizon ETS.

And so, it goes for the Army and their families. And yet, in all the movement, activity and the organized chaos, many of us realize that something may be missing.

But what could it be? And do we even really have time to think about it? Or does the busyness tend to crowd everything else out?

Pastor Warren Wiersbe once warned, “Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” But what does this mean?

Being active and busy is not always a bad thing. In fact, it is often a requirement for someone of responsibility, whether at work, home or elsewhere. But busyness can be bad when it becomes the normal tempo of life, crowding out things that would otherwise be important. Or to tweak a famous Johann Goethe saying, “when things which matter least undermine things which matter most,” you know something is wrong!

So what’s the solution? What is a busy person, with a busy family, who is a member of a busy organization to do? Take an exam.

The topic of the test – you. Examine your life. Take a day to slow down and take a deep look. You think you don’t have the time to do it? I think all of us don’t have the time not to.

The famous philosopher Socrates once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

So let’s take an exam, but where do you start? I always like to challenge people to think of broad categories and then work down, so start with these general categories: mental, physical, emotional and spiritual.

  • Mentally: When it comes to the mental, ask yourself, am I taking time to set and accomplish goals? These goals might include career, education, financial, etc. Come up with short-term (less than a year), mid-term (3-5 years) and long-term (big picture) goals.

When you have a goal, it makes every day purposeful when you are trying to meet those goals. Examining ourselves mentally helps focus on our goals generally.

  • Physically: When it comes to the physical, ask yourselves, am I taking time to stay healthy and fit for the tasks I am called to do? This might entail making sure I am eating right, staying fit and getting enough sleep. Beyond the basics, it might mean attempting to challenge myself with some bigger goals, like a marathon, or taking advantage of living in paradise, like going on a hike to a waterfall. Examining ourselves physically helps to strengthen us thoroughly.
  • Emotionally: When it comes to the emotional, ask yourselves, am I taking time to grow and nurture my relationships? This might mean that I need to take my spouse out for a date regularly, or spend some intentional time with my children, or make that phone call to my loved one back on the mainland. Examining ourselves emotionally helps to grow ourselves relationally.
  • Spiritually: When it comes to the spiritual, ask yourselves, am I taking time to grow and nurture my faith? This might mean that I need to spend more time praying, studying, meditating, giving, fasting, serving or some other spiritual discipline that will challenge and grow my faith. Examining ourselves spiritually helps to deepen ourselves inwardly.

Busyness is not necessarily bad, but it is if that is all we have.

So, busy people, examine yourselves (mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually) and have a life that is worth living and sharing.
(Editor’s note: Vineyard is the 225th Bde. Spt. Bn. chaplain.)

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Category: Footsteps in Faith

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