Prayer breakfast promotes resiliency
March 5, 2012
FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. -- "You have to be strong and courageous. I have times when I am not. If you try to do this on your own -- and I am not talking about just God's help -- but the help of other people, I would say you are missing out on a tremendous resource," Chaplain retired (Col.) Scott McChrystal, Assemblies of God endorsing agent, told the crowd.
More than 400 people attended the annual National Prayer Breakfast at the Thunder Mountain Activity Centre, Feb. 23. A buffet breakfast was served to attendees before the guest speaker began to address the audience.
The event hosted a diverse group. An Israeli officer, Maj. Ran, read a Hebrew scripture; an Egyptian officer, Moustafa Mohammad, read from the Koran representing Islamic religion; and American Soldier Spc. James Hughes, representing Christianity, spoke from the New Testament.
The theme of this year's prayer breakfast was "Resilience." McChrystal said he thinks the prayer breakfast is important because it is one of the times during the year when people from all over the community can attempt to stop what they are doing, join together in a unified fashion, and just hear some challenges and know there is divine help available for all of us. Sometimes in the busy-ness of our individual lives we forget that, so we need to do it.
"If you weren't supposed to be here, you wouldn't be; God wants you here. If you are on a mission, doing God's will to the best of your knowledge and giving it all you've got, then there is no person; there is no thing; no shortage; there is nothing that is going to stop you from completing that mission except God Himself. The only other person would be you, and that would be if you don't cooperate or you quit -- that's what I believe. God will hear me, but whining doesn't work -- it just doesn't," McChrystal said.
"We need each other. So if you are going through a hard time and you know you need to be strong and courageous, you know you need to do this stuff. God's given you this mission; don't try to do it by yourself. I can tell you right now you are not that good -- I'm not that good -- and I hope we are not that stupid," McChrystal told the room in a serious tone.
Members of the audience had positive comments on the presentation.
"I think the event was excellent. The chaplain really made me understand his life-experiences and all the different life experiences we all go through, but that we should do the best we can that's within us. We need people to help keep us afloat and rise back to the top when we are low. I am about to graduate after being recycled; it shows you just have to keep going, no matter what," said Pvt. James Thomas, Company F 309th Military Intelligence Battalion.
McChrystal is the older brother to retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal. The speaker said his brother Stan epitomizes resiliency.
"The dude has not slowed down," he told the crowd.
"February is kind of the designated month across installations for the National Prayer Breakfast and, of course, we piggyback on a long-standing tradition going back to Eisenhower, I believe," said Chaplain (Col.) Ken Revell, Fort Huachuca Garrison chaplain. "The breakfast is important because folks need or long for purpose, direction and meaning in their life and spirituality speaks to that. We are more than just people who draw breath and draw salaries; we make it through life because we have meaning, and spirituality gives us that. Resiliency is something that Chaplain McCrystal chose because he is familiar with the Army and its struggles, and its ups and downs."
"We are coming out of a 10-year war; we are trying to refit, refocus and recalibrate. Resilience is part of the Army and what we need to do and how we need to get to the new 'normal' in life after being beat up a little, surviving deployments," he said.
Events such as this [prayer breakfast] open the door for folks to come in, gather, have a meal, have a prayer, draw strength from each other and remind us of our own spiritual values, Revell said.