Lighten your load of bitterness

Photo by Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Lock

By Ch. (Col.) Michael T. Klein
Command Chaplain
United States Africa Command

In May of 1986, my Long Range Surveillance (LRS) unit jumped into Camp Atterbury, Indiana, for our two-week annual training.

One of the mantras in our organization was “pack light–freeze at night,” and as we still experienced schizophrenic weather transitions from winter to spring, I had all the snivel gear I needed.

Come what may, I would not freeze to death on the “movement to daylight” (all night) patrols through the woods. In reality, I had so much gear stuffed in my ruck, you could squeeze a dime between my t-shirts and socks … or so I thought.

On the drop zone, our S-4 (supply) drove up in a truck loaded with pyro. Each six man LRS Recon team was getting an extra 200 pounds of “shtuff” to carry: grenade simulators, artillery simulators, smoke canisters, star clusters, etc. Needless to say, my pack gained an extra 40 pounds and somehow I managed to squeeze it all in.

Do you know how much pyro we blew/expended across the two week field problem? None! We lugged around all that extra weight needlessly, just in case.

That’s actually how our live are when we encumber anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness.  Matthew 6:14-15 states, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Harboring anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness is like lugging a colossal ruck sack needlessly.  Someone also likened a demeanor of bitterness and un-forgiveness to drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.

Why don’t you lighten your load?  If someone offended you or committed some egregious act, why not confront them and give them the opportunity to make it right?  If they don’t apologize or see the error of their ways, is it really your problem?  Take this time to offload some extra stress, anger, or frictions that’s wearing on you mental, physical and spiritual health.

Time to lighten your load . . .

Watch care workers wanted

The USAG Stuttgart Religious Support Office is hiring watch care workers for chapel programs. Individuals must have experience working with infants and toddlers. Applicants must be willing to work weekends and holidays, but the hours are flexible. Background check is required.  Positions are open for all religious services on Panzer Kaserne, and Patch and Robinson Barracks.

Call 431-3075 or 07031-15-3075 for more information.