Cadet Command holds annual Spiritual Fitness Breakfast
September 5, 2013
FORT KNOX, Ky. -- The Saber and Quill became something of a gym Thursday morning as nearly 200 Soldiers and civilians tackled a spiritual workout.
U.S. Army Cadet Command's third annual Spiritual Fitness Breakfast put participants through a regimen of uplift, filled with prayers, songs and stories.
The event, which brings together people from a diverse mix of organizations from across Fort Knox, is important in delivering a message of hope in times of need, said Lt. Col. Greg Thogmartin, chief chaplain for Cadet Command.
"Some people might think the way to deal with stuff is to go around it," he said. "The only way to be healthy is to go through it. This gives encouragement to people to put one foot in front of the other."
Michael Card, a renowned Christian musician, songwriter and author from Nashville, used his pulpit as the breakfast's guest speaker to encourage those who might be suffering, be it physically or mentally, to turn to God for help. But in doing so, they must understand they might not -- and probably will not -- get all the answers they desire.
"God almost never gives answers, but always shows up," said Card, who has sold more than four million albums and holds bachelor and master's degrees in biblical studies from Western Kentucky University. "Having Him is the answer."
Focusing on dealing with sorrow and loss, Card said the topic was particularly relevant to his Fort Knox audience, some of whom had lost friends and loved ones in battle or who were disheartened by the prolonged strife. He applauded the service of those in uniform in front of him, calling their willingness to potentially make the ultimate sacrifice "Christ-like."
When it comes to dealing with sorrow and anger, the church hasn't always been as beneficial as it could be in its approach to helping parishioners cope, Card said. They can always turn to God.
And in fostering their relationship with Him, people shouldn't refrain from saying what they feel.
"The Bible gives you permission," Card said. "You can say anything to God you want to say to God. He's committed to staying with us until the very end.
"God uses our suffering. There's a point to what you're gong through. … You may not know what is for until years from now."
Col. Maria Gervais, Cadet Command's deputy commander, found Thursday's event inspirational. She said time often isn't set aside for those in the Army community to come together and recognize the advantages of spiritual fitness.
The breakfast portrays a sense of community, coming at a time late in the fiscal year that creates a means for people to unite to reflect and rejoice in recent successes. It also provides a way for those who might find the achievements overshadowed by grief to understand that there are others around -- physically and spiritually -- who can help.
"People sometimes assume they're the only ones going through something," Thogmartin said. "This is a reminder that they're not as alone as they thought."