The 13 Cs of spiritual resilience: Commitment

Padre Willis

Chaplain’s Corner

Padre Christopher Willis

Commitment is essential to spiritual resilience and to a successful military career.

One of our core values in the CAF is loyalty. We often view loyalty as obeying lawful commands and orders. Certainly, if we disobey appropriate orders and commands, we are not going to find much success.

But commitment is more than following orders. It’s a product of our interaction with an embraced view of the world. Our worldview enables
us to take a stand for certain ideals, which then in turn leads us to gladly dedicate ourselves to a cause or purpose. What ideas or ideals are worth it to you to “take a stand” for? Do you have personal beliefs that you are willing to sacrifice for? Is it worth it to you to be inconvenienced for the sake of what you believe in?

An active and engaged spirituality breeds other loyalties. We embrace the values of Duty, Loyalty, Integrity and Courage as the ethos of our military values – not because they are an end in themselves, but because they have arisen from primary spiritual commitments. Not all of us have joined the CAF because of the pay, pension, and postings, have we?

Recently I reached a personal commitment milestone. My wife and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary this fall. Saying I reached the milestone is inaccurate, my wife and I reached it together. Neither of us could have made it without the other.

Reaching this milestone required effort. Getting there was not without failure or mishap. There were times when we grew disenchanted with each other, and it was hard work to become reenchanted. In our culture if we become tired with something and even develop a distaste for it, we sell it or throw it out and get a new one.

My wife takes great joy in HGTV shows that feature old homes being restored back to their original glory. In most cases it takes more effort and ingenuity to bring something back than to replace it with something new. Having worked our way through some challenges, there is a depth and love that I have for my wife today that would be foreign to me as a 23 year old when we were first married and so “in love.” And this fall is but a milestone, which alludes to the fact that there are more miles and years for us to journey on together, which I know will bring more challenge and I hope will deepen the love more.

My wife and I are working our way through year 21 because our faith has shaped our commitments. Our faith recognizes that people and relationships are not disposable. Our faith also calls us to be all in for better or worse.

Does your life feel like a candidate for restoration in the new season of This Old House? Revisit the foundations of how you view the world. Investigate if you’ve lost track of first things. Recommit yourself to what you once found essential but have grown tired in. Recalibration can renew our joy.

christopher.willis2@forces.gc.ca