• Garrison hosts Spiritual Fitness luncheon

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  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    There once was a city boy who drove a pink Cadillac and one day while driving in the country, it went into a ditch. Looking for help, he saw a farm, knocked on the door and an old farmer came out.
    The city boy said, “Will you please get your tractor and come pull my pink Cadillac out of the ditch?”
    The old farmer said, “My tractor is broke, but don’t worry about it. I got Blue,” and the old farmer came back with an old, skinny mule.
    The city boy said, “What are you going to do with that old, skinny mule?”
    The farmer said, “Blue is going to pull your pink Cadillac out of the ditch.”
    So, the old farmer hitched up Blue to the pink Cadillac and said, “Pull Blue, pull Red, pull Yellow, pull Jackson,” and the pink Cadillac started to come out of the ditch.
    The city boy was confused and asked, “How in the world did that skinny old mule pull my pink Cadillac out of the ditch, and why did you say ‘Pull Blue, pull Red, pull Yellow, pull Jackson?’”
    The farmer said to the city boy, “You see what you don’t understand is that Red, Yellow and Jackson are dead, but Blue is blind and he thinks they’re still alive pulling with him.”
    Garrison Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Raynard Churchwell, told this anecdote to emphasize teamwork during his message at the first Garrison Religious Services Organization’s Spiritual Fitness luncheon Nov. 1 at Frontier Chapel.
    “We can all see each other. We can see our team together. So, we have to work together, we have to always pull together, we have to always love together and we have to always try and maintain an eagle mentality,” Churchwell said about the story.
    Churchwell centered the luncheon around the idea of having an “Eagle Mentality” and working as a team that stemmed from Garrison Commander Col. Marne Sutten’s philosophy of leadership.
    “Chaplain Churchwell first proposed the idea in our staff meeting, and he was really impressed with Colonel Sutten’s idea for directors and the message she gave (them),” said Dorothy Ling, Garrison director of religious education. “He just decided that the directors needed to be fed spiritually as well. So, I think that was the emphasis behind it.”
    Ling said one attendee was already interested in having another luncheon.
    “One of the guests said as she was coming in, ‘Can we do this again?’ So, that’s the idea ... to create some bond here with the directors in a more relaxed atmosphere,” Ling said.
    Page 2 of 2 - The luncheon began with a reading from Isaiah 40, prayers for the community and nation, and a musical interlude before Churchwell delivered his message.
    “In the Army, we have what’s called the Ready and Resilient Campaign,” Churchwell said. “The Army provides ready, resilient skills to commanders and leaders to enable them to achieve and sustain personal readiness in environments of uncertainty and danger. Its total goal is to sustain personal readiness in the operation of requirements and it’s also a program to promote a culture of trust, teamwork and accountability.”
    Churchwell said the five components to the Ready and Resilient Campaign are physical, psychological, social, spiritual and family.
    “Within the spiritual is our identity, who we really are, our purpose for life, our core beliefs, our values and our spiritual practice of our religious beliefs,” Churchwell said. “When we really know what God can do in our lives, it helps us to become a stronger person, a stronger people. It helps us with our families. It helps us at work to become a stronger team, and it also helps us with life in general.”
    Churchwell’s use of the eagle symbol was drawn from Isaiah 40: “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
    “For us today, the American bald eagle is a symbol of our country’s pride and strength. It was selected by Continental Congress in 1782 because of its beauty, its power, its grace and the spirit that it requires us to adopt as a symbol for this country,” Churchwell said. “Therefore, Isaiah may have used the metaphor of the eagle for the essence of the eagle’s strength and endurance. The eagle is a very, very, very powerful bird.”
    Churchwell said the way to get through the rough times in life is to have eagle eyesight in the spiritual nature through prayer and reading God’s word, to never be caught off guard, and to always have power and endurance — the three key ways to gain an eagle mentality.
    “Eagle mentality is what it’s all about. We need eagle mentality every day of our lives. We need eagle mentality to work together as a team. Eagle mentality is about loving yourself for who you are,” Churchwell said. “… Eagle mentality is about encouraging yourself and sometimes you have to be your own best cheerleader. Eagle mentality is about walking by faith and not by sight.”
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