Chaplain’s Corner: How committed are you?

  • Published
  • By Navy Chaplain (Lt.) Steven D. Mills
  • Tinker Chapel
I enlisted my son, Jonathan, in the U. S. Coast Guard last September.

He faced me, and I said "Raise your right and repeat after me ..." He repeated the words and signed his name on the contract. He left for boot camp and has since reported to his boat.

When you think about the oath of enlistment, it is a simple thing.

"I, state your name, do solemnly swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies foreign and domestic ..."

The oath means nothing unless there is a commitment to follow the words.

Our Lord said to "Let your yes be yes and your no be no." Basically, do what you say you are going to do. We are all given many opportunities to make commitments and are given the equal number of occasions to break the commitment. It is easy to keep the pledge when it is something we want to do. If the activity is something enjoyable, then OK, we'll keep it. The mark of maturity and growth is keeping your word when times are tough. The old saying "When the going gets tough, the tough get going" is true. However, someone changed that to "When the going gets tough, the person finds an easier way to get the job done."

Jonathan sent a few letters home during boot camp and said that it was tough and if people did not learn how to move faster, they were all doomed. He also mentioned that some of his shipmates tried to find the easy way to get through the training. The drill instructors made sure those recruits were treated with "special care."

When faced with adversity, what do you do? I have been told that adversity builds character. I also believe it builds a sense of dependence upon God's love and grace. There are situations you will face that you cannot get through on your strength. Our gracious God will send you His power and might. He is faithful to keep His promises and never break His word.