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Resiliency: ‘Cause Stuff Happens

  • Published
  • By Chaplain (Maj.) Bruce Kite
  • 90th Missile Wing Chaplain Office
Much like risk management, resiliency assumes we are all going to face tough times. We cannot remove all risk from our life, work or play, unless we foolishly choose to abstain from life itself. So we choose to manage the risk all around us every day. Resiliency is our tool for managing our situation when (not if) risk management fails us.

Stuff happens! The Christian world view declares that we were born not into a sit-com, but onto a battlefield. This 'fallen' world is engaged in a cosmic battle between order and chaos. We are under attack. No matter your world view - physically, emotionally, spiritually, relationally - we all are at risk. And when stuff hits the fan, our skill with the tool of resiliency will reveal a whole lot about us - our flexibility, our resources, our friendships, our hopes and dreams, our faith. Basically, we are laid out before the watching world for who we really are.

In such times, we (and others) discover what we're made of and to whom we go to; what we've done to prepare ourselves for hard times; and what past experiences have taught us. Our ability to survive and operate is on the line. Like an Inspector General visit, we would probably never choose to go through these events voluntarily.

So what are you and I doing to get ready? Remember, we are not in neutral territory. We are, in fact, behind enemy lines. Talk about on the job training - like rebuilding an airplane while you're in flight. May I suggest a few to dos?

- Take a fresh, serious look at your relationships--with God, with people, with stuff. Have you chosen the best wingmen? Birds of a feather do flock together. Are you soaring with eagles or picking over road kill with scavengers?
- Reassess your values. "Where a man's treasure is, there will his heart be also." - Matthew 6:21
- Take time to recall past difficulties. What you did to overcome and grow vs. crash and burn?
- Apply self aid buddy care. Take personal responsibility for you, and then take care of your wingman early and often.

Kubler-Ross reminds us that even our scars are valuable.

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen."

The Apostle Paul directs readers to share their survival skills with others: family, friends, strangers, and fellow warriors.

[God] comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort--we get a full measure of that, too. - 2nd Corinthians 1:4-5 [The Message]

No matter your faith, or lack of a faith, these words challenge all of us to a resiliency that serves us and others.

Have you heard? "Liquid is the new flexible because flexibility is far too rigid." While that may take things a bit too far, we all need to expect stuff to fly into our Plan A. Choose not to be overwhelmed. Make the choice for a resilient warrior lifestyle. Semper Gumby!