The Chaplain's Notebook

The Chaplain’s Notebook

During a recent trail run, I tripped over a rock and fell to the ground. It was not my finest moment, and I was really glad nobody else witnessed this middle-aged calamity. I got up and dusted myself off. Besides a nice-sized raspberry below my knee, and a bruised ego, I was fine. I stood straight, took a deep breath and finished my run.

This incident on the trail reminded me of the path God has placed us all on. The path is full of rough terrain, whether we’re in law enforcement or waiting tables. There are ascents and descents, sharp turns, obstacles out of my control, and in my case, an educational falling down.

The Bible instructs us to stay alert so as not to be tripped up by things that are seen and unseen on our pathway, “Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you” (Proverbs 4:25).

LEOs know all too well the importance of staying focused to avoid danger on the job, to “be steadfast of mind” (Isaiah 26:3). Societal discord, an unfair review or an undesirable assignment can certainly throw us off course. The good news is that God gives us the strength, wisdom and guidance to carry us through the toughest of times.

It takes strength and perseverance to weather the storms, to lace up and run the trails of life. We are reminded in James 1, “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Every part of the trail serves a purpose.

Sometimes I’m so focused on the hill I see coming that I lose sight of what’s right in front of me, which is often a really shady, flat, enjoyable part of my run. I tend to grumble on the uphill, find relief when the ground levels off and experience exhilaration on the downhill terrains.

Not looking back on that trail with regret or feeling anxious about what’s going to happen in the future is very difficult. We are a society of worriers; however, the Bible reminds us, “Do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

God’s command is to be grateful and express gratitude in all things, and not bemoan what we don’t have. Philippians 4:6 reminds us, “But in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

The trails of our lives will always have obstacles. We will absolutely trip and occasionally fall. We sometimes won’t know which direction to go, but with gratitude, focus and God’s perfect GPS tool in the Bible, we will always be able to navigate the terrain. I