There are times when I wonder what I am really doing as a chaplain in the Royal Australian Air Force. It is all too easy to feel overwhelmed by the needs of the people who come to me for help, and frustrated by the fact that I do not have the power to “fix” their problems. Sometimes that results in me questioning whether God made a mistake in calling me to this ministry! Yet, when I get to that point, God sometimes sends me a message. No, I did not hear a voice or see a vision, but God spoke to me through a prayer that crossed my desk. Prayers of the saints are not part of my tradition, but the following from St Francis of Assisi got me pondering:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much to seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
If you are struggling with life then maybe this is worth pondering for you as well, and if you are touched by it, I challenge you to pray it!
Chaplain Ian S Whitley