Four o’clock in the morning I am wide awake recently. In the Middle Ages I have read, this time was when the nuns and monks would be conducting prayers prior to their morning routines. The quiet hours before all the earth wakes and the noise of the day begins. A time to let God know our deepest prayers.
I’m my prior military profession early morning was also prep time for the coming day filled with meetings, plans, training, routines. While most people were still restfully sleeping, I would bundle up my small sleeping child and head off to the day care at the military base dropping him off with caregivers who understood that the military didn’t run on “normal” time clocks. Then I would race off to the physical fitness field to start my day along with my troops. These long grueling early morning routines were preparing all of us for possible war if it ever came to a reality. I know I said a lot of prayers during those hours of painful exercise and asked God “Why am I doing this?”. I never received an answer so I guessed there was no one listening.
This morning as I pulled myself out of bed as the Hubby was in a peaceful sleep I wondered again “Why?”
No answer…except from my years of experience. A military officer must always be the first awake, prepared, set for the coming tasks of the day. Although I am retired (now 12 years!) I feel the old pull to routines. To start my day, know the situational ground truth, start my day in a peaceful reflection and ask the universe for help in dealing with what the day brings. My belief in a God is not the same as it once was but as in any relationship it has matured over time.
This situation in Ukraine challenges us all. We all want Putin to stop this assault on the people and sovereign nation of Ukraine. We want to live as humans on this planet free from war and the threat of war. Will that be a reality today?
As a retired military officer who has lived through three combat zones, served as a U.S. military officer assigned to NATO twice, these old routines are not a burden. I have already provided comfort to people who fear the unknown of what is to maybe or maybe not to come.
The universe has placed me right where I need to be. I fear not the evil that has attacked the Ukraine. I cry tears for those who have had to experience war. No war produces winners, it is only death and misery. The scars ripple through time in hope of finding a peaceful solution for humanity and our planet. We all must listen and help where we can in ways small and large.
Please provide what support you can to those who suffer from the war in Ukraine and other wars that have tormented our planet. Let’s find ways to live in peace. 💙💛🙏☮️
© The Cedar Journal, 2022, all rights reserved.
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So well said! Your experience and wisdom speak volumes. We must do all we can to help those who are suffering in the Ukraine, and continue to pray for the best!
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What a poignant and powerful personal piece, Paula. Thank you for sharing your early morning reflections. Sometimes when I awaken early and can’t fall asleep, I use that time to pray. That settles me and gives me peace. Beyond that, you are spot on in encouraging us each to do whatever we can to support others. Thank YOU for writing about your experiences, offering insights, wisdom and hope. I appreciate you so much.
Audrey- thanks for your continued encouragement! In these difficult times it is very much appreciated and spreading kindness and love will win over evil every single time!
I’ve had the privilege of never experiencing war or the day to day experience of those who have served and those who continue to serve. I am forever in their debt along with my father who did serve (along with his three brothers) to uphold those principles we cherish so dearly. Simply put, there have been evil people set on doing evil deeds since the dawn of man and I see no stemming of that in the future. Leaders need to lead, influencers need to influence, convincers need to convince, mediators need to mediate.and politicians/entertainers need to get out of the way – short of that I think we have to rely on those willing to start their day while the rest of us sleep.
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