By Chaplain (Maj.) Jason T. Klodnicki, 55th Wing Chapel
/ Published August 15, 2016
This is the seal for the U.S. Air Force Chaplain Corps.
“I sound just like my mother…I swore I would never say that to my children!” These are phrases that sometimes grace our lips as we live our lives and grow and experience family. We sometimes (like history) repeat the follies of our parents and bestow more stories to be told by our own children.
What we say and do reflects the internal character we all protect and attempt to bridal in order to “fit in” among others. There are voices we adhere to that form the foundation we build upon to fortify our character. I would like to address these “voices” and share how to decipher those that would either harm or help us become better.
As a child we submit ourselves to the voices of our parents. We list to obey their commands and trust that what they say is doctrine. Their voice trumps all others and if the world says otherwise then the world is wrong. I remember as a child we would always have sour cream on Rice-a-Roni (one of my favorite sides). There was just no other way to eat it. At age 19, while serving as a missionary for my Church, I was sharing a meal with a family who happened to serve this to us. I asked for sour cream and you would have thought I wanted to mix it with dog food! I was confused. Later, when I was visiting with my parents, I shared this experience and asked why my request was received with such disgust? They then simply shared that when they were newly married (and poor I might add) that they only had Rice-a Roni and found some sour cream in the fridge and decided to be creative and the rest was history. I also foolishly trusted a voice from a High School friend once whom I believed had my best interests at heart. He did not. Without going into detail – let me just say the law did not get involved and I was thankful for that grace.
Understanding that we are all at some point in a foreign environment and away from our families, may I entertain the notion that there are still voices trying to influence our daily walk. Voices that introduce depression, selfishness and even hatred try to compete with the voices that bring peace, hope and confidence. Which will you enlist to follow? It is up to you. That which surrounds you will give power to one set of voices or the other. The shows you watch and books you read and even the music you listen to all either give strength to or diminish from the power of these voices.
Here is the trick – Ready?
Sometimes you cannot silence the damaging voices. If that is the case we must then acknowledge that they exist and intentionally force them to revert to a whisper while we encourage better voices sing a chorus of those messages that will bring us through the darkness and in to the light.
Peter Cetera performed a number entitled “One Clear Voice.” Permit me to close with the lyrics from this insightful song:
"One Clear Voice"
The whole world is talking, Drowning out my voice
How can I hear myself, With all this noise
But all this confusion, Just disappears
When I find a quiet place, Where I can hear
One clear voice, Calling out for me to listen
One clear voice, Whispers words of wisdom
I close my eyes, 'Till I find what I've been missing
If I'm very still, I will hear, one clear voice
I'm always searching, For which path to take
Sometimes I'm so afraid, To make mistakes
From somewhere inside me, Stronger than my fears
Just like the sound of music, To my ears, I hear
If I'm very still, I will hear, one clear voice.