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Chaplain's Corner

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Ability to Change

26 Feb 2021 | Lt. Cmdr. Michael Griggs Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

When change is upon us… what do we do about it? We can react to it in either a bad or a good way, or we can ponder all the impact it might have upon our lives both now and later. There was a grim character in the Avenger movie “End Game” whose name was Thanos.  He desired to kill half of earth’s population. He had one favorite phrase he spoke with conviction, “I am inevitable.” To many he represented the so called “ultimate change” for us humans, death. Well, “change” may be inevitable, but let’s have the moral courage to process any seemingly ultimate or inevitable changes so as to make them as low impact as possible!

The Institute for Global Ethics was founded by Mr. Rushworth M. Kidder. He has written many books, including Moral Courage, Taking Action When Your Values Are Put To The Test. After the telling of a gripping story in regards to South African historic tensions he draws these conclusions, “Every South African household has a Bible… and the tribes across the nation share a common commitment to “Ubuntu,” a Zulu word roughly meaning compassion or respect for others… that I am not complete until you are complete. Forgiving without forgetting is where amnesty does not turn into amnesia. It requires the most moral courage because it is the most controversial option. Being willing to talk about it determines a cultures moral momentum. There can be no justice without forgiveness, and no forgiveness without moral courage. Forgiveness may be the only way to secure peace, and collective moral courage is essential for world peace.” (Chapter 9) 

He also said in Chapter 5, “…the qualities that accounted for moral courage are these three: 1- a sense of responsibility, 2- the ability to know right from wrong, 3- a spiritual base.”

Your spiritual fitness plays a major part in facing and handling change no matter how large the situation. The Bible records in Luke 23: 32-34, Jesus Christ after he had been tortured and while having nails driven through his hands and feet showing us the ultimate spiritual fitness enabling him to handle extreme adversity in the best way possible…32 Two criminals were led away with Jesus, and all three were to be executed together. 33 When they came to the place that is known as The Skull, the guards crucified Jesus, nailing him on the center cross between the two criminals. 34 While they were nailing Jesus to the cross, he prayed over and over, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.” The soldiers, after they crucified him, gambled over his clothing.

This… is forgiveness and moral courage offering peace to a collective culture gone mad. May God grant each of us the ability to daily, moment by moment, offer this peace in the midst of change.