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Southland Christian Ministry Training

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Compass for Life

You need both a compass and a map to find your way.

You need both a compass and a map to find your way.

In another hectic week of induction briefs and planning for the coming year I was stopped in my tracks by the realisation that my “time is limited”. Maybe it is the fact that these last few years I have worked with a lot of people who are at the very beginning of their military careers, who are taking the first tentative steps in a journey that may last for ten, twenty or more years while my own compulsory retirement date approaches rapidly. This week, one of my colleagues celebrated 40 years in the army, and at our age we have to admit that there is much less ahead than behind! So what?

It seems to me that no matter where you are in your life journey we need to continue to have a positive attitude, and intentionally move forward. We all have potential that we have not yet grasped, which is harder for me to accept today than it was even ten or twenty years ago, but just as true. In my reading this week I came across a quote from Mahatma Gandhi
who said:

“The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing
would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.”

I’m sure that is true, yet it only poses more questions! Ultimately, what is it that makes life worth living? As I look back over my working life as a military chaplain (the last 14 years), Baptist minister (12 years), hospital scientist (12 years) and even as a uni student and truck driver(2 years) my aims and goals might have changed radically but the undergirding principles have remained the same.

The good book puts it like this:
“Do what is fair and just to your neighbour,
Be compassionate and loyal in your love,
Don’t take yourself too seriously –
Take God seriously.”
(Micah 6:8 The Message)

That might seem like an over-simplification, and it is, but it is worth pondering. What are the principles which guide your life? You are capable of doing so much more, but it will only happen if you know who you are and why you are here. If you need help with those questions, you know where to find me…

Chaplain Ian S Whitley

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