Being in Two Places at One Time

  • Published
  • By Chaplain Gerald Stout
  • 93d Air Ground Operations Wing Public Affairs
Chaplain Stout here from Moody Air Force Base, sending ya’ll a quick word of encouragement as we continue in the adventure of quarantines and social distancing!
In my most recent deployment to Europe (Woe is me, right?), I found myself with mixed emotions as I traveled to beautiful historic castles, medieval cathedrals and cobblestone towns older than our country. Tourists pay thousands of dollars to vacation where I was deployed, and yet I was left unsatisfied. I desperately wanted my wife and four kids to be alongside me to take in the scenery! One evening I pondered the lyrics of our nation’s cowboys (aka Zac Brown Band):
Cause I’ve been all around the world,
Seen things that no one would believe,
Thought I was looking at a picture,
in some fancy magazine.
And out of everywhere I’ve been,
Oh it kills me every time.
If I could only find,
How to be two places at one time.”
The struggle right now is real; we yearn to be together again, and yet we’re limited for the safety of our communities. The power of a face-to-face conversation, a morning “How ya doing?”, a fist-bump, or a hug is raging in our minds. We constantly beg for more time at home, but we are left unsatisfied during this pandemic for our relationships elsewhere! Essentially, we wish to be in two places at one time.
While deployed, I was encouragement in a simple spiritual practice that finds its roots in almost all faith traditions: prayer. What’s the purpose of prayer? Where does it find its significance? Well, if we simplify it, it’s our ability to be two places at one time. While in Europe, I prayed for the safety, well-being and spiritual growth of my family at home. Prayer closes the gap when we’re apart, and we cannot forget that when we’re TDY, deployed or quarantined in our homes!   
I encourage you to leverage your faith in this time of “pause.” Lean on the power of prayer to give thanks, release the burden of isolation and maintain your spiritual fitness. 
My friends, your faith only works when you work on your faith! 
Chaplain Stout