On 18 February 2001, while racing for fame and fortune, Dale Earnhardt died in the last lap of the Daytona 500. It was surely a tragedy for his family, friends and fans. He was 49 years old with grown children, one of whom was in the race.
I am new to the NASCAR culture, so much of what I know comes from the newspaper and TV. He was a winner and earned everything he had. This included more than "$41 million in winnings and ten times that amount from endorsements and souvenir sales." He had a beautiful home and a private jet. He drove the most sophisticated cars allowed, and every part was inspected and replaced as soon as there was any evidence of wear. This is normally fully funded by the car and team sponsors.
Today, there is no TV station that does not constantly remind us of his tragic end, and the radio already has a song of tribute to this winning driver. Nothing should be taken away from this man; he was a professional and the best in his profession. He was in a very dangerous business, but the rewards were great.
Two weeks ago seven U.S. Army soldiers died in a training accident when two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters collided during night maneuvers in Hawaii. The soldiers were in their twenties, pilots, crew chiefs and infantrymen. Most of them lived in substandard housing. If you add their actual duty hours (in the field, deployed), they probably earned something close to minimum wage. The aircraft they were in were between 15 and 20 years old. Many time parts were not available to keep them in good shape due to funding. They were involved in the extremely dangerous business of flying in the Kuhuka mountains at night. It only gets worse when the weather moves in as it did that night. Most time no one is there to slow things down when it gets critical. Their children were mostly toddlers who will lose all memory of who "Daddy" was as they grow up. They died training to defend our freedom.
I take nothing away from Dale Earnhardt but ask you to perform this simple test. Ask any of your friends if they know who was the NASCAR driver killed on 18 February 2001. Then ask them if they can name one of the seven soldiers who died in Hawaii two weeks ago.
18 February 2001, Dale Earnhardt died driving for fame and glory at
the Daytona 500. The nation mourns.
Seven soldiers died training to protect our freedom. No one can remember their names and most don't even remember the incident.
Where are our priorities?
"No!" was his emphatic reply. "They were doing their work just as I
was doing mine." That image of "loving your enemies" has stayed with me
all these many years and, I'm sure has impressed much of my life's choices.
Scriptures OnlineFrom Jennifer Redfern comes a web site that might be useful.
It's a Community of Christ website with our scriptures on line so that you can reach them whenever you're online: www.computercontrolsystems.com/scriptures/
SPIRITUAL MAINTENANCE SHOP
You see, that is really what the chapel staff is called to do in the lives of troops. We remind them of the Lord so that they can find wholeness and effectiveness in their lives. Like many maintenance areas, the chapel staff focuses on preventative maintenance. That is to say, we try to help people by providing them spiritual principles so that they do not become broken in the first place. Of course, when people do become broken we direct them to the Lord who is the one who sustains them and makes them new.
As troops develop a relationship with the Lord and his people they find true wholeness and effectiveness in all aspects of their lives, including the operational mission at hand at PSAB. We even have Technical Orders, so to speak—that is to say we have religious literature which, when followed, prevent and fix problems through the knowledge of who God is and how he works in lives of people.
As I said before, we know that care for the machinery (or, in our, case troops) helps to ensure effectiveness for the mission. Our vision of “Spiritual Maintenance” is to share God with the troops through a sustained ministry of presence in their work place. The chapel office is often located wherever the troops are located. We have a vehicle with “SHEPHERD 1” on the windshield that is driven about many work areas.
It is our mission to provide a ministry of presence and candies, cookies, and cold drinks when possible. Right now, these supplies are somewhat limited and have come from chapel staff that have purchased these items out of their own funds and from the generosity of others both within and outside the chapel community who have donated such supplies to the chapel.
We also are dedicating that the Operations Group/Maintenance Squadron Chaplain will be in the office at Bldg 3236 from 0800 – 1000 on Wednesdays for counseling and will continue to be out and about in visitation during the day and evening. There will also be troops meeting together Monday – Saturday for prayer in Bldg 3236 (The Spiritual Maintenance Shop). In fact, there will be a lay-led Bible study scheduled each Wednesday from 0700 – 0730 in Bldg 3236.
In addition to pastoral visitation, the chapel also provides many other
services to the troops including worship, religious education, pastoral
care and counseling. We are here to be instruments of the Lord providing
effective global ministry in its many different forms.
Variations to “Footprints”Contributed by Kim Jobe
Thule Air Base VersionThough he said he didn’t author it, we got this from Bob Collins, the chaplain who was our sponsor when we came to Eglin. He spent a year’s remote in Thule.
One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along North Bay with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from the past year. For each scene, he noticed only one set of mukluk prints. In the past years, there were always two sets of footprints in the snow. One belonged to him, the other to the Lord.
This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it. "Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times this past year at Thule, there is only one set of mukluk prints. I don't understand why, when I needed You the most, you would leave me."
The Lord replied, "My precious, precious child, you've been with Me all this time and you still don't know, that there are some places that even I will not go?!"
Not-Footprints VersionOne night I had a wondrous dream,
One set of footprints there was seen,
The footprints of my precious Lord,
But mine were not along the shore.
But then some stranger prints appeared,
And I asked the Lord, "What have we here?"
Those prints are large and round and neat,
But Lord, they are too big for feet."
"My child," He said in somber tones,
"For miles I carried you alone.
I challenged you to walk in faith,
But you refused and made me wait."
"You disobeyed, you would not grow,
The walk of faith, you would not know,
So I got tired, I got fed up,
And there I dropped you on your butt."
"Because in life, there comes a time,
When one must fight, and one must climb,
When one must rise and take a stand,
Or leave their butt prints in the sand."
Crazy Steps VersionImagine you and the Lord Jesus are walking down the road together. For much of the way, the Lord's footprints go along steadily, consistently, rarely varying the pace. But your footprints are a disorganized stream of zigzags, starts, stops, turnarounds, circles, departures and returns.
For much of the way, it seems to go like this, but gradually your footprints
come more in line with the Lord's, soon paralleling His consistently. You
and Jesus are walking as true friends!
This goes on for many miles, but gradually you notice another change. The footprints inside the large footprints seem to grow larger. Eventually they disappear altogether. There is only one set of footprints; they have become one. This goes on for a long time, but suddenly the second set of footprints is back. This time it seems even worse! Zigzags all over the place. Stops… Starts… Deep gashes in the sand. A veritable mess of prints. You are amazed and shocked! Your dream ends.
Now you pray: "Lord, I understand the first scene with zigzags and fits. I was a new Christian; I was just learning. But you walked on through the storm and helped me learn to walk with you."
“That is correct."
"… and when the smaller footprints were inside of Yours, I was actually learning to walk in Your steps; followed you very closely."
"Very good. You have understood everything so far.”
"… when the smaller footprints grew and filled in Yours, I suppose that I was becoming like you in every way."
"So, Lord, was there a regression or something? The footprints separated, and this time it was worse than at first."
There is a pause as the Lord answers with a smile in his voice. "You didn't know? That was when we danced."
GOD BLESS,Curt Heaviland
|Laste updated: 19 Jun 01
Additions? Corrections? Questions? Contact the Association for Ministry to Military Personnel at CofChristPeacekeepers@yahoo.com