Monday, February 13, 2006

Pause EX

We are currently at a pause in the JRTC exercise. Which means I can steal a few moments to make another post. I have really missed posting on this thing. It is somewhat cathartic for me, and I know that my family and my friends are able to hear what I am up to so I guess that is why. The training here is great, the accommodations not so much.

I am developing a negative attitude toward the work ethic of the civilians who support us. I am not so sure if that follows through to civilian life in general, mostly because I am starting to forget what it was like on the outside. When I complain about the civilian work ethic mind you I am complaining about myself in some way.

They only seem interested in doing the bare minimum to "accomplish" their mission and I use that word accomplish lightly. When their quitting hour hits, they are gone even if they are not finished with the work they have to do. It is the whole 9-5 mentality that I think I am losing.
It does seem like sometimes that all the days run together for me. The saying around here is that everyday is groundhog day. (BTW happy belated groundhog day Ron) Everyday and every hour of the day seems to run together in one long work day. There is no such thing as weekend. Freetime and sleep time and shower time and laundry time and shopping time and break time are all the same thing. You take it when you can get it and you are thankful for each moment.

So back to the pause ex. Today we have some small amount of free time, but it is really not exactly free-time it is an opportunity to breathe and catch up on the things we skipped because of the urgent things we have to do. You know one interesting thing that has happened here, I have so many fires to put out every day that I barely have time to think and prepare my sermon before it is Sunday. But, I have not missed a devotion time or a prayer time since I got here.

It is strange to me that with so many urgent things to do everyday that I am able to maintain my devotional life. Maybe it is because it has become a necessity now more than ever. One OC (observer controller) here told me, "you gotta stay filled up." It is so true. If I didn't fill up every day I would be empty by tomorrow. It is a good exercise the filling and the emptying.

I am beginning to think that what most Christians need is not to be told that they have to do devotions every day, they need a reason to empty themselves out. Because once you start getting empty you really feel it and you compulsively fill up again. I think part of the reason that so many Christians have a hard time with devotions is because they never do anything with what they have been given, they never empty. Maybe my job should be more of freeing people to use what they have been given.

Anyway, I was doing worship yesterday. In the morning service we had some trouble in the beginning. My chapel, the DFAC (dining facility), had been taken over with detainees from the game we are playing here. So I had to move my service. We moved across the compound to the area where the CSH (combat support hospital) resides. The CSH personnel are from Puerto Rico.

They came to service with a guitar and wanted to worship. Wanted to worship not just in English, but in Spanish. It was awesome. We really had a great time worshiping in Spanish and in English. I loved hearing the songs and some of them I remembered from my church in Philadelphia.

In Philly we used to have Spanish songs every week. Sometimes more so than English songs. My pastor there would tell me that it is important for native speakers to hear their native language. I thought about it and it made a lot of sense to me. I mean if I was stuck in France or someplace like that I would be anxious to hear English any English. It doesn't really matter how beautiful the foreign language was, it wouldn't be my native language.

It got me thinking. I have been thinking about how scripture tells us that we are aliens and strangers to this world. This world is not our home, but we have a place prepared for us by Jesus. And, I wonder what is our native language if we are not of this world. If I belong somewhere else and this world is not really my home, what is the language of my home.
I think it is worship. I love to hear the songs and the word. I think it may be the language of my real home. I speak this alien language now, but someday I will speak only the worship. The language of my home.

Well I may not be back for another 2 weeks or so. Thanks for visiting. Dont forget to stop and say hi, I like to know that you have visited. Hopefully I will be able to post again at the next pause ex.


Blogger shadman said...

On behalf of Ron thank you for the ground hogs message. It brings me to tears

Happy Valintines day

11:18 AM  
Blogger Roland said...

I am glad you got to post. I also was very appreciative of the call you gave me on (close enough) Groundhog's Day. You are one of the people that understands the true significance of what this holiday means to me.

I check your blog almost daily. I know you probably won't be able to post very often, but I like to check anyway.

Your thoughts about emptying and filling are good. Funny thing, don't some eastern philosophies mention things about emptying your cup and then filling it? It's amazing that we can always find the error mixed in with truth, but can never seem to focus on the truth and forgive the error. (Phil 4:8)

Your posts and friendship are very important to me.

BTW, did you know they have a 3-D Settler's of Catan game. Costs around $300 just to have extra fancy pieces. If you decide to ever trade up to the 3-D one, I'll buy your 'junkie old beat-up' used one. :)

Praying for you and the missus,

Ron, (ahem) I mean Roland

7:28 PM  
Blogger Carole said...

Thanx again for being over there. We in SD appreciate you all! Was starting to wonder why it was so long for you to post because we pray for you. Glad things are fine (albeit annoying!).

7:31 PM  
Blogger nurse_andi said...

Just found your blog tonight. Your son and I read it together but he has since fallen asleep-although he might decide to cry again if the pacifier falls out of his mouth again. He really likes that thing. My brother did too so I think it is ok.

He is getting big. Having to do big boy things like get shots. He is also starting to look around with more of a purpose.

I hope to have some pictures to send to you soon.

12:16 AM  
Blogger nurse_andi said...

Just found your blog tonight. Your son and I read it together while he was falling asleep. He is now quiet in his bed-at least until the pacifier comes out of his mouth. Thank the Good Lord for the baby monitor. I have been getting a lot accomplished while he sleeps lately-if only I could motivate myself to accomplish some homework.

Hope to be a regular reader. Your son sends a smile.

12:19 AM  
Blogger Chaplain Luken said...

Thanks Andi,
You are a blessing to our family, and it is obvious to me that you were sent to us by God.

9:23 AM  
Blogger Roland said...

Just saying "Hi"

10:17 AM  
Blogger Roland said...

Hi, again.

8:49 AM  
Blogger Roland said...

Cars song.
'Hello again'

12:54 AM  
Blogger Pastor Matt E-burg said...

thanks for the thought of emptying oneself so that one can be filled. I see that in my students and myself. I hope all is well by you.

10:37 AM  

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