Time to scale things back
Thursday, 31 August 2017
By Chaplain (Capt.) Ryan Davenport
Special to GUIDON

By Friday afternoon of any given week, I am so exhausted that my mind barely operates.

A fast operations tempo is typical in the battle rhythm of any Army chaplain. As chaplains, we pour ourselves out like a drink offering in the Old Testament, self sacrificially to meet the spiritual, emotional and religious needs of the Soldiers and civilians in our commander’s ranks, often times at the expense of our own well-being.

When this happens, of course, one’s spouse is the first to notice. My wife is good at reminding me to “scale things back” as she likes to say. I am one to go 100 miles an hour until I crash trying to hit targets with suspenses weeks down the road. This is an unsustainable pattern that is neither helpful nor healthy for any Soldier.

That is why Labor Day reminds me of what the Lord Jesus Christ did in the Gospel of Luke at times when his ministry was bombarded with a barrage of obstacles:

“It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God” (Luke 6:12 NASB).

Long story short, Jesus rested.

He knew his limits and the susceptibility of human frailty. Jesus mastered the art of “scaling things back.” He retreated momentarily to spiritually refuel and bask in the glory of  God through prayer and supplication.

Every Soldier needs a Shabbat, Hebrew for “rest.” Our commanders expect us to get done what we can get done today, for tomorrow has enough worries of its own.

Spouses and children need emotional and physical presence from their Soldiers. As Soldiers, it benefits us to find that balance life requires of us.

Remember, if Jesus was prudent enough to “scale things back,” we should be as well.

(Editor’s note: Davenport is the 554th Engineer Battalion chaplain.)
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 13 September 2017 )