2017-06-30 / Chaplain's News

Stop, listen, find the time for priorities in life

Center Chaplains Office

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens….” – Ecclesiastes 3:1

While on our second tour in Germany, we lived near a railroad track. Every day trains would pass by our housing area in Parsberg, Germany.

My youngest son was fascinated by the trains. So we would often go look at the various trains moving freight and people along the tracks near our home.

It was fascinating to him, but as his parents, we realized it could be dangerous if not handled properly.

So as a lesson in safety, my wife and I taught him a simple lesson: Stop, far from the tracks; look, both ways for on coming trains; and listen, for the whistle or the humming of the tracks.

We would practice this simple lesson before we ever approached a vantage point to watch the trains roll by.

Take some time and stop

We live in a very fast-paced world in which it is difficult to slow down. And it is in the fast moving moments of life that I see the seams which are splitting apart relationships, families, careers, health and futures.

As we frenetically move through life, we need those times when we can stop and realize how brief life really is.

This realization can impact how we view many of our priorities. Stopping gives us a clearer picture and a better spiritual, emotional, mental and physical vantage point in which to see our life, our faith, our families and our health. It helps us to appreciate what is around us.

So sometime soon, stop and give thanks for those things which are important to you: faith, family, friends, and health.

Stop and examine your priorities, your values, and your life goals. Stop and take some time to ask the deeper questions of life.

And then examine those around you for signs of too much time in the fast lane. And stop and support them on their journey.

Take some time and look

There are many people for whom reality is out of focus physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Take some time and truly look around you. What do you see when you examine your life? Who is walking along with you through your life journey?

Identify the family, friends and other human resources that can support you as you walk the path that is placed before you.

Look around you and make sure you’re where you want to be in life. And if not, look for the direction you want to go and the resources to support you along the way.

Additionally, look around for those who are also searching on their journey in life. And look for ways to support them on their journey.

Take some time and listen

There is so much noise around us, or we are just too busy and preoccupied to really listen. At times like this, it is really important to listen.

Listen to the teachings of your faith and from those you trust: family, friends, co-workers and mentors.

Listen to the warning signs from your body that things might not be healthy.

Listen to those around you so you can hear that cry for help.

As you listen to their needs, stop and look around for ways to provide them the support they need.

Life is like a train on a railway line. It can move us to a greater life or can run us over if we are not careful.

In our attention to the myriad of deadlines, responsibilities and lengthy “must do” lists, let us not forget those things which make life better.

Make a decision to live each day well – one at a time. Since we have only one life to live, we should give it our best.

Let us stop regretting the past and fearing the future so we can get on with the business of living the present.

May we learn, day by day, to seize the opportunities at hand, complain less, love more and be prayerfully thankful for those things we value most.

Return to top