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Event seeks to boost spiritual resiliency

Sheila Jackson, musical guest, sings a song during the National Prayer Luncheon at The Landing’s ballroom March 11. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Sheila Jackson, musical guest, sings a song during the National Prayer Luncheon at The Landing’s ballroom March 11. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Published: March 21, 2016

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (March 21, 2016) -- Prayer and spirituality can be a powerful tool for many to help get through difficult times, and Fort Rucker celebrated the National Prayer Luncheon as a way to increase spiritual resiliency.

Members of the local community came together at The Landing’s ballroom March 11 for the National Prayer Luncheon, where they had the chance to participate in fellowship to pray for the nation, Soldiers and families.

Throughout the ceremony, songs were sung, scriptures were read and prayers were made, and Chaplain (Col.) Marc S. Gauthier, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command chaplain, was on hand to offer his words.

“Hurry up and wait on the Lord,” he said during the ceremony. “Think about what that means for us pursuing faith.”

Gauthier painted a picture of two different birds to help with the analogy – the hummingbird and the soaring eagle.

“God wants us to soar like eagles, but often we are just buzzing around like hummingbirds at a furious pace, our pulse overwhelmed and we can barely catch our breath,” he said.

These two birds represent two types of strength – the limited strength of the hummingbird, and the strength that God puts in us like wind under the wings of eagles.

Gauthier said the concept is wrapped in the five Ws – what, who, when, where and why.

“The what we must do is wait,” he said. “When you think of waiting, you might think it’s an inconvenience in life. It’s not waiting for the Lord, but it’s waiting on the Lord. It’s an attitude and an expectation. We’re talking about waiting on a good thing and that’s waiting on God.”

God is who we should be waiting on, he added, rather than waiting on ourselves.

“We have a broken default mechanism in our waiting, and we tend to default back to waiting on our own strength, which is limited and will not get us anywhere,” said the TRADOC chaplain, adding that when we should wait on the lord is “all the time.”

“One of my purpose statements as the command chaplain of TRADOC is to strengthen the warrior’s soul,” he said. “When you’ve got a warrior who’s got a strong soul, you’ve got a warrior who can do just about anything and everything.”

Gauthier shared a story about how he fulfilled a life-long dream of learning to fly sailplanes and gliders.

“When you learn to fly in a sailplane, it is an amazing experience because you’re pulled by a tow plane, and your life becomes a tunnel-vision aperture when you’re behind that aircraft,” he said. “When you get up to altitude, you pull that towline and all that you hear in the sailplane is the sound of the wind. The art of flying gliders is you fly in those rising pockets of air called thermals, and when you feel the aircraft go up just a little bit, you start to get inside the circumference of that thermal and you rise.

“I only got it right one time in a sailplane, and I felt the uptick and I started to bank the aircraft, and what an amazing thing to be in an aircraft without a motor and to see your altimeter going clockwise,” said the chaplain. “That for you and me is a picture of what it means to wait on the Lord. The eagle is equipped to do what he needs to do, but he needs the rising pocket of air to be able to gain his altitude, and for you and I, how we wait on the lord and how we rise up on wings like eagles is we find the sweet spot – the pocket of God’s presence.”

Gauthier said the reason we must wait on the lord is because we, as humans, are not strong enough.

“Our physical strength, our emotional strength, our mental strength will eventually be no more. If you and I bank on our own strength, then you and I will be bankrupt,” he said. “God’s arm is long enough, and God’s hand is strong enough, and God’s love is great enough to pull you out of the hole and put you in a place where you can fly like an eagle in the pocket of God’s presence. Your soul is like a home, and God wants to dwell in that place. Invite him in and wait on the Lord all the time.”

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