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Southland Christian Ministry Training

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This week I have heard myself say on several occasions that “what you are going through now is the result of the choices you have made in the past”. That is life, because we rarely see or understand all the ramifications of those decisions before we commit to them. It might be your choice of joining the defence force, or your mustering within defence or even your choice of partner, which will inevitably affect not just about what you are doing but who you are!

I have a vague memory of a Peanuts cartoon by Charles Schulz showing Charlie Brown at the beach choosing to build a sand castle. He is engrossed in making all the critical decisions about size and shape, decorating it to make it the best on the beach. Finally he stands back to admire his magnificent creation, only to see it flattened by a big wave on the incoming tide. In the last frame he says “There must be a lesson here, but I don’t know what it is”.

How true to life. Maybe that is where you are today, helplessly watching as the tide washes away all your carefully planned hopes and dreams. Don’t just walk away, there is a lesson there, and you need to find out what it is! It might help to ask yourself the following questions to get some clarity:

  • What other information do I need before I make this decision? In other words maybe I should check how far up the beach the high tide mark will be.
  • What can I change now? If I am building the castle too close to the water, can I walk away from I have already built and start again?
  • What are the positives in the current situation? I have learnt something from my current situation and will do more homework before I build my next sand castle.
  • What am I going to do now? Go for a swim and get back to sand castles later. The break will allow me to be refreshed and have a more positive attitude to the future.
  • Who else could benefit from what I have learnt? I will put an article in the sandcastle news to warn others of the perils of not checking the tide chart.

We each have the freedom to choose, so choose wisely and learn from your mistakes!

Chaplain Ian S Whitley

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