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Posted: September 6, 2018 3:22 p.m.
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Your work matters

Chaplain's Corner

Maj. Gerald Jacobs

Fort Stewart Plans, Operations Chaplain


There was a poster in the 1970s showing Charlie Brown. It read, “Doing a good job around here is like wetting your pants in a dark suit. You get a nice warm feeling, but nobody notices.”

Ever feel that way?

I suspect each of us has struggled with feeling unappreciated. We may even feel like George Bailey in Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life. He thought that his life had been for nothing and wished he’d never been born. His guardian angel, Clarence, granted his wish and showed George what the world would have been like had he never been born. It changed George’s life.

George received a great gift in that knowledge. We probably will never get to see the difference our lives have made, but, if we think about it, we’ll know that we’ve affected others’ lives – often in very positive ways.

One of the ways in which we all affect others’ lives as members of the Department of Defense is by safeguarding our nation’s freedom. Less than one percent of the population of the United States has worn the uniform, but the day-in, day-out work (often not glamorous or exciting) we do matters to the other 99 percent of our fellow citizens.

Each of us is part of a team. When we’re “in the boat and rowing,” our team is successful. When we’re not at work, our team-mates have to work harder – or may be in danger. What we do matters to our teammates.

I wasn’t always very helpful to my wife in the past – especially with housework. I simply had to grow up and prove that my parents actually taught me how to clean, wash dishes and clothes, and do the things that needed doing around the house. What I discovered was that what I did (and didn’t do) to help out at home matters to my wife and children.

Soldiers often measure their deployments and service in terms of missed birthdays, anniversaries, Little League games, school presentations and such. Sometimes, even when we’re not deployed or on temporary duty, it’s hard to clear time in our schedule to be with our Family. Most Soldiers are painfully familiar with Harry Chapin’s song, “Cat’s In The Cradle,” in which a father laments the amount of time he didn’t spend with his son, and the results of those decisions. Our being there matters to our children.

In recognition of all the hard work that you do, the government has created Labor Day. Labor Day celebrates working for valuable goals. We can enjoy the break with Family and friends, celebrating the valuable goals for which we work and “recharging our batteries.” 

Your work matters – to you, your Family, the Army, our nation, and to God. We were created to contribute and produce. When we’re faithful and obedient in our work, we are blessed, even as we are a blessing to others.

Happy Labor Day! 

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