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Posted: August 3, 2018 9:08 a.m.
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Preparing for the storms of life

Chaplain Corner

We’re in hurricane season now. Along Southern U.S. coasts, that’s a big deal. We know how destructive hurricanes can be. We also know much of how to preserve our lives and property when one of these storms approaches. If we’ll do the smart things we know, we’ll be able to “weather these storms” successfully.

When it comes to hurricanes, tornadoes, and so on, I think what most frustrates people is that they can’t control these things. In some ways, they’re like the two certainties of life: death and taxes. 

Americans spend billions of dollars trying to cheat death. It seems that the best we can do is keep him at arm’s length for a while. Far too many Americans have gone to prison for “forgetting” to pay their taxes.

People will pray for hurricanes to turn out to sea, rather than to make landfall, but annually they slash into Caribbean islands and the southeast US, killing people and destroying millions of dollars’ worth of property. People living in “Tornado Alley (central US, from Texas to Minnesota)” build storm shelters, but about 2,400 people died in the ten deadliest tornadoes since 1840. There are more than 500 tornadoes a year along Tornado Alley.

White crepe myrtle trees line Warriors Walk to memorialize and honor those who have sacrificed their lives in the struggle to preserve freedom. The Army does everything it can to prevent these deaths. We are able to prevent serious injuries and death in many cases, but we are not always in control. In one scene in the TV show, M*A*S*H, after Capt. Pierce loses a friend in the Operating Room, his commander, Lt. Col. Henry Blake, tries to console him with the two rules they taught him in command school: "Rule No. 1--Young men die. Rule No. 2--doctors can't change Rule No. 1."

The lessons we’ve learned about being technically and tactically proficient and about living according to the Army ethic should provide us with valuable insight into being prepared for the storms of life we know will come. For example, knowing Army doctrine and conducting operations accordingly is required to weather the “storms” of combat operations. When Soldiers conduct Pre-Combat Checks and Inspections, they are increasing their chances of surviving combat and of accomplishing their mission.

Spiritual and emotional resiliency are the bedrock for getting through all of life’s personal and professional storms – and for recovering from them. Resiliency depends on knowing what works and working what you know. 

I have found that faith in God “works” to help me get through difficult events and seasons in my life. The “work” of faith I must do is to trust God and do what He tells me the way He tells me to do it, when He tells me to do it. 

Just as you need a hurricane preparedness kit (https://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit), you need a preparedness kit for life’s storms. Look for the instructions in your faith and relationships. Get ready for life’s inevitable storms. You CAN survive them. 



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