The Christian Capability Gap

Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way. – Psalm 139:23-24

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Maj. Mason receiving his Diploma at General Staff Officer College

Here are my recent reflections after returning from Command and General Staff Officer College. As you advance in the military, you attend various schools that are intended to prepare you for the next level of your career development. Ask any senior soldier and their opinions of said schools will very. Some may think the military schooling experience to be awesome, others may find it to be a waste of time and money. Aside from these observations for or against military schooling, the purpose is to prepare future leaders for the demands of higher level leadership in a complex system and systems. There is a secondary purpose which involves capability gaps. First, the schooling itself is for the purpose of filling a perceived education and intelligence gap in the soldiers and leaders who attend them. Second, the curriculum is built in such a way as to equip you as the student with the ability to see capability gaps in the system and with the knowledge of how to fill them in a timely manner whether in peace time or war. Thirdly, soldiers and leaders learn the language more advanced leaders use so all soldiers and leaders are speaking the same language. Fourth and finally, soldiers and leaders learn the inner workings of the material and materiel orders process to include movement and allocation of personnel.

Current methods have been built based on lessons learned from the past, the latest advancements in technology, and solutions to complex or even wicked problems as determined by civilian schools of higher learning. Statistics, facts, and probability are equally considered and recruitment of future leaders based on potential continue to be priorities. Experts from various fields of civilian, military, and mission interest endeavors are brought in to better inform students with first-hand accounts of their work and contributions.

At this point, some may be wondering why capability gaps are a topic on the Veterans to Christ blog site? I for one am glad you are wondering!

As you advance in life and your walk with Christ what are you accessing that is preparing you for the next level? Do you have any way of identifying capability gaps in your own life and walk? I think observations such as these are the reason for and purpose behind the writing of the Serenity Prayer:

“God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.
Amen.”

bible-study_724_482_80Sanctifying resources and methods such as accountability partners, mentors, discipleships programs, solid Bible teaching, sound preaching, education, self-study, quiet time/prayer, gathering with those of like faith, and looking for opportunities to share your faith with others are all methods available to each one of us for growing in Christ. These are echoes of the 4-Him song, “Basics of Life” and should be consistently sought after and practiced.

We must look for and seek after ways to fill the spiritual capability gaps that exist within each one of us. That said, existing gaps should be reflected upon and resolved inwardly first. As in, remove the plank from your own eye before pointing out the speck in the eye of others. We are great at pointing out the capability gaps in others but let’s start with ourselves. After all, the opening scripture of this entry says “Search me…”

Some reading this may see my observations and recommendations as impossible tasks but remember it is the effort and the intent in seeking these things that are critical. Don’t forget, God sees the heart! We are only made complete in Him. He alone fills our capability gaps.

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. – 2 Peter 3:18

Mijikai Mason
Disclaimer: The thoughts and views published on the Veterans to Christ blog are those of Mijikai Mason and in no way are meant to represent the United States Army or the Armed Forces.

Bio: Mijikai Mason is an Ordained Southern Baptist minister and Chaplain in the United States Army. He has been in the Army for 26 years both as an enlisted Soldier and now as an Officer. He has been stationed at various bases in the United States and in United States Army Garrison Schweinfurt, Germany. He holds an undergraduate degree in Religion from the University of Mobile, a Master of Divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in Theology and Evangelism and a Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Webster University. Chaplain (MAJ) Mijikai Mason was selected by the Army in 2013, to become a Family Life Chaplain and began his service in this field starting 15 May 2015. He is the Deputy ESC Chaplain and Family Life Chaplain for the 593 Expeditionary Support Command at Joint Base Lewis McCord. He has deployed four times: Desert Storm (1991), Iraq twice (2005-2006; 2007-2008), and Afghanistan (2012-2013). He has a total of 42 months deployed in combat and logistics operations. Mijikai and his wife, Ashley, have been married for 17 years this May and live near Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington with their four daughters.