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March Chaplain's Reflections

U.S. Air Force Capt. Matthew Gray, a chaplain assigned to 169th Fighter Wing, at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Feb. 6, 2018. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Megan Floyd)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Matthew Gray, a chaplain assigned to 169th Fighter Wing, at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Feb. 6, 2018. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Megan Floyd)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. --

March Madness is around the corner and I would like to talk about an important strategy in the game that might get overlooked. It is the strategy of the “timeout” and it has implications for us spiritually. So what can we learn from this strategy?

1. Everyone needs timeouts. It doesn’t matter how in shape you are, even if you think you are Super Man on the court, everyone needs to take a timeout occasionally. Somehow, we think by driving ourselves constantly we will wring more out life. But we quickly discover that going 90 to nothing quickly leads to nothing.

2. Timeouts are used for specific purposes.

a.       To provide rest. If after a vacation we say, “I need a vacation after my vacation!” We did not rest well.

b.      To create strategy. By taking a timeout we gain freedom to strategize and come up with plans on how to live freely and lightly.

c.       To reconnect with teammates. Timeouts allow time for teammates to talk, encourage, confront, challenge and help one another. They help to rebuild relationships with those who are in the game with us!

3. Timeouts can be called by the coach or by the player. There are times that the players need a timeout, but can’t see it and that is when the coach steps in. The coach calls timeout and, even if we may not like it, he is the coach and we ought to listen. Who is the coach in your life? A friend, spouse or supervisor? Are you a coach for someone?

We should also remember that players can call timeouts too! The risk is that we won’t call a timeout. Perhaps we’re afraid of what calling a timeout will do to our career. We think we can handle it, we are strong, we are tough, just drink another Red Bull and try to push through with no rest. In this case, coach may not call a timeout because the coach does not see what we do. So it’s up to the player to call the timeout. Doing so will not hurt our career! In fact, not calling a timeout can lose the game.

4. Timeouts begin and end at a specific time. They are meant to be temporary pauses that help us win the game. That is what our Chapel services are all about. They are 45 minute timeouts that enable you to receive care, rest, encouragement, meet back up with your teammates, strategize and plan, and then get back into the game. That is what makes our time each week together so important. This isn’t just something we do to do! We do them for you to have essential, life giving breaks that enable us all to win!

Maybe one of the coaches that God has assigned to your life is calling a timeout from the March Madness or perhaps you are. Your Chaplain Corps stands ready to jump in for the assist. Together we will fly, fight, and win!