A time for everything, a season for every activity

  • Published
  • By Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Michael Gilbert
  • 71st Flying Training Wing
Theoretically, I have a two-car garage at my house. I know this because the driveway where I park leads right up to this big wide door that seems big enough for two cars. 

But, when I open the door I find that it is really just an extra store room for those boxes I haven't unpacked since the last PCS. The longer I leave the stuff in there the easier it gets to believe that it is more of a store room with a wide door and not really so much of a garage. 

With winter's ice coming, I may get some extra motivation to change the situation, but I will probably get to that a little late. 

In reality, each person has a spiritual dimension; a place where the unseen makes a home. Like the garage, the spiritual dimension seems to have an almost unlimited capacity to store all that extra stuff which bears little resemblance to what is supposed to go in there. 

When a situation comes into my life, like winter's ice, that is not the time to try making room for spiritual space. 

In the Bible, Solomon in Ecclesiastes reminds us that there is "a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven...a time to keep and a time to throw away." 

Our spiritual space doesn't seem to respond well to clutter. When was the last time you set aside a space of time for your spiritual self? Even when I try to sit quietly for a few moments, I hear the call of each daily care like an incoming text message. 

I once heard a challenge to sit quietly for 10 breaths and concentrate on just the air coming in and going out. Sounds simple. Try it and notice how quickly you begin to think of something other than your breath. The first step to hearing the sound of silence is recognizing how noisy we are inside. 

It is so easy to react to the demands of the next upcoming event. It is also easy to make a promise that afterwards things will be different. The trouble is, there is always another something to take its place. 

I think we find comfort from being busy and seem willing to do anything to avoid stillness and solitude. We are so uncomfortable with quiet that we call it "dead space." 

Spiritual space can begin with some easy choices. First, recognize the importance of your spiritual dimension and then give yourself permission to make an appointment with yourself. 

I have enjoyed my times in other cultures where there is a built-in expectation to take a spiritual moment; whether it is formal times of prayer or simply a siesta. 

Our wing is a busy place, focusing on an important mission. Within the wing, your Chapel has the unique call to make the space and time available for your spiritual wellness. We offer daily prayer at 11 a.m. and daily Mass at 11:45 a.m., Tuesday through Friday. Other times can be arranged as needed for your individual expression of spiritual space. 

The Irish have a saying that "when God made time He made enough." Maybe the next time I move I'll put both cars in the garage first.