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July Chaplain's Reflection

Lt. Col. Brian Bohlman, 169th Fighter Wing Chaplain at McEntire JNGB, S.C., February 1, 2012.
(National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson/Released)

169th Fighter Wing Chaplain, Lt. Col Brian Bohlman.

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. -- "Rest Area 1 Mile Ahead"

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)

"Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken." (Psalm 62:5-6)


Last month I made the scenic drive from South Carolina to McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, located just outside Knoxville, Tennessee. The purpose for my travel was attend my final Air War College seminar with fellow lieutenant colonels from other Guard and Reserve units located around the nation.

Besides the almost 2,000 pages of warfighting and leadership reading material that would be discussed during the seminar, I had a lot of other matters on my mind that day as I drove to Tennessee. I did spend some moments in thanksgiving to God for allowing me to make it to this level of professional military education in my military career. I also reflected on how I have handled the hardship of failure in the past and was grateful for second chances whenever I fell short of the mark.

Before long I came upon a road sign that said, "Rest Area 1 Mile" ahead. While I could have continued to drive, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to pull in, get out of the car and stretch my legs to break up the long drive. This particular rest area was located on I-26 at the base of the mountains just before crossing over into North Carolina.

After enjoying a few minutes walking around and stretching my legs, it was time to continue the drive up and over the mountains. As a drove away, I reflected on how we must also make the same effort in our lives to stop and rest on life's journey. At various points on the road of life, it's important that we "pull over" and take time for refreshment and rejuvenation on our journey.

Making time for self-care makes life much more enjoyable. Self-care can take many different forms but it is essential that you take time to rest in order to prevent burnout. As you think about the principles of Comprehensive Airman Fitness and Spiritual Resiliency, make sure that you take time to stop at the "rest areas" along life's journey because you never know how far down the road the next rest area will be.

Remember that the SCANG Chaplain Corps is always available to help you find rest for your soul. I hope you take advantage and attend one of the two upcoming Strong Bonds Retreats in Myrtle Beach from 10-12 July for Single Airmen or the Family Retreat from 31 July-2 August. To learn more about either of these retreats, please call our Airman and Family Readiness Program Manager, Terry DeLille, at 803-647-8089 or email her at: carolyn.t.delille.civ@mail.mil