Padre’s Corner

St. Brendan’s Chapel at Stadacona.
Photo: CFB Halifax

Back to school… fixing priorities

By Capt RG Davis,
12 Wing Chaplain

So by now we are back in the swing of things, the kids are back to school, Dorian is past and we are into fall already.

Hopefully all of you have had a good summer – very full with leave, trips and outings but perhaps like mine, altogether too short. Whereas the summer months are often chaotic and frenzied with usually no set-schedule, the school/fall schedule (although very busy too) begins setting a normal routine for much of life. With this we get into a groove of normalcy, most weeks are generally the same. As you set that new schedule you will have many obligations, however I hope that you will make your spiritual life a priority on that list. Here’s why…

Life is busy. You are busy. Your family is busy. That is a given. But we always have time for that which is a priority and is important in our life. If you have children in school – school is important and a priority. I guarantee that Monday through Friday you are going to be up early and out the door so that your children can be to school on time. Same goes with your work – you are going to be there when you are supposed to for the sake of your employers and co-workers. If we are willing to do this for school and work but not for your spiritual life (and that of your family), there’s a disconnect there, and sooner or later, we will pay a price. Spirituality touches on meaning and purpose and so it is necessary for a full and satisfying life. But often with our actions we demonstrate that it is less important than those other things.

As a Chaplain, (perhaps your Padre), I am not asking you to add one more thing to your plate – you already have enough. What I am asking is to watch what you are adding and saying “yes” to because everything you add may crowd out something else – and your spiritual life (and that of your family) will easily be dismissed for other needs.

Why not start at work? We all take breaks, hang out and chat over a coffee, have lunch, or take some alone time to think. Why not use some of that down time to ask broad questions about religion and life; or consider the presence and existence of God; or investigate the truth claims of religion. Some of the best discussions I have participated in have been in a smoke shack (or in a trench at zero dark stupid, or sitting on a bollard watching the waves go by).

So as you enter into fall, it’s a new season, a good time to be reminded and renewed in a pattern of putting priorities first. Be committed to your spiritual growth  – as a result you and your family will be blessed.