By Chaplain (Maj.) Wyne Hutchings, Fort Benning Family Life chaplainJuly 16, 2018
FORT BENNING, Ga. (July 16, 2018) -- In this week's Chaplain's Corner, Chaplain (Maj.) Wyne Hutchings, Fort Benning Family Life chaplain, warns against fruitless yearning and urges us to find what is appreciable in our lives.
"Somewhere over the rainbow …" Can you hear Dorothy singing? Or maybe you hear it sung by one of the countless American Idol contestants who have tried it. No matter who sings it, the song expresses longing for something more, something somewhere else.
It's a beautiful song sung beautifully -- in the movie anyway. Yet, if we live an "Over the Rainbow" life, it's anything but beautiful. I hear it from folks all the time. They long to be somewhere where "troubles melt like lemon drops." It's a place they believe they can reach if they can just get out of this job, this house, this relationship -- or some other fill-in-the-blank.
Before you laugh at the people to whom I'm referring, think about your own life. How do you handle adversity? Do you begin to look over the rainbow to find a way out? Or, do you look for the blue sky and bluebirds in your here and now?
Every day good things and bad things happen to everyone. In the worst days there are good things. It's a matter of your focus. Making up a lullaby land of happiness does not help you face struggles. Recognizing the good in the midst of the bad, however, will.
Try this plan for a month if you find yourself with darkness all around you. First, get yourself a small spiral notebook. Each night, just before you lay your head on the pillow, write the date and then write down at least five good things that happened to you that day. Sometimes you'll have to include the hamburger at lunch as one of your five, but as you practice looking for good, your list will get easier to make (not that a really good burger is not list-worthy any day). When you have a day where you can list more than five, do it. That way, when the tougher days come, you can flip through lists from past days and most likely see something good from an old list that happened again that day. The rule is at least five good things a day.
Making your list just before lying down has a purpose. The last thing you focus on before sleep will often be the first thing on your mind in the morning. If you are a praying person, close your bedtime prayer with your list of thanksgivings and/or start your day with thanksgiving prayer.
Being conscious of developing your list during the day makes a difference too. Deciding to look past a bad event in order to discover the next good one to put on your list can prevent a day from spiraling downward. After all, it's all about where your focus lies. Find the rainbows in the here and now. Even in nature, rainbows come at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of a storm.
May the Lord multiply your blessings and your awareness of them.