Celebrate the good times

Chaplain’s Corner

Padre Willis

Padre Willis

Padre Christopher Willis

Have you ever wondered why we have so many special events and festivals on the Wing? For the high operational tempo we face at 4 Wing sometimes I’ve wondered and have discussed with others that celebration is a necessary balm to the human spirit.

I see this in my daughters. Every moment for them may be a moment for celebration. One Saturday morning I ran into my oldest daughter in the hallway as I headed downstairs for my morning cup of coffee. I asked her how she slept. She said great and that she had dreams of rainbows and unicorns! She obviously didn’t need coffee.

There is something about the grind of life, and certainly something about the morally complex vocations that we have that can dry up our dreams. The Psalmist writes, “When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy” (Psalm 126:1-2 NRSV).

There is plenty in life that I can’t control. Certain circumstances in our lives may not be so good but this does not mean that our lives are void of good gifts from our creator! What I have often found is that I am prone to have a singular focus, and that singular focus usually centres on negatives rather than positives, on problems rather than blessings. That’s because that which is good is not an irritant. For instance, when was the last time you were aggravated by good health or an unencumbered schedule? So I am finding that I have to do a regular inventory on blessings and take the discoveries to a next step that involves celebration.

This helps me hope in God and lift my disheartened soul.

I may need to instruct myself to smile. Intentionally find something to laugh about. Allow myself some freedom to be exuberant. On a Saturday morning after a hard week I find a reason to turn up some music, something like Happy or Can’t Stop the Feeling, and surprise my daughters with an impromptu dance off (with the living room curtains drawn of course). When I do an inventory I find that life is renewed in me and there is more than enough reason to be merry in heart.

To everything there is a season. A time to laugh and a time to cry. A time to grieve and a time to celebrate. Let’s be real, we do not live in some kind of fantasy world of unicorns. Not all of life’s difficulties are solved by turning on a happy song on the radio. But rainbows do exist. We just have to take time to notice and then enjoy them.

christopher.willis@forces.gc.ca