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First Responders, the Fight for Joy, and the Lip-sync Challenge

A cardiac arrest call every week! It must have gone on for ten or twelve weeks. For big-city folks with high call volumes, that’s not unheard of. For the volunteer firefighters in my sleepy little community it sure got exhausting. And all that grief work was exhausting for this chaplain, too.

After a few weeks of cardiac arrests that weren’t saves, it started to wear me down. I dreaded putting my head on my pillow at night, wondering if it was about to happen again. As my “stress bucket” filled up my internal resources were depleted.

God and I had more than a few heart-to-heart talks during those weeks. He reminded me that this is part of what I signed up for when I agreed to be a chaplain. But He also reminded me that joy was a part of life, too. With how I was doing at that point, I would need to be intentional about seeking joy out.

That fight for joy has come to mind over the last few weeks as I’ve watched our nation’s police force getting into a lip-sync challenge on social media. Let’s face it, they have a job that can wear on them and zap the joy from their lives. When I see them being very creative and a little competitive and having joy while doing it, I say: bravo.

As a chaplain I am reminded of all the scriptures that mention being joyful in the Lord in spite of our circumstances. And those are right and true.

But I also think about Job’s kids. Do you remember the way the Old Testament book of Job begins? Job’s sons and daughters were celebrating and enjoying life with each other. They had joy. Their father Job, being a righteous man, wanted to keep a balance between enjoying life while being right with God. The two can go together. Maybe that is what we should try to do as well: to enjoy life and stay right with God. For those of us who serve in public safety, if we don’t intentionally hold onto or seek out joy, this job will suck the life out of us.

Have you enjoyed the police (and some fire departments) lip-sync challenge? Find this article on our South Carolina Public Safety Chaplains page on Facebook and post link to your favorites in the comments. May we all participate in the joy our first responders are having right now.

Chaplain Chris Wade

Vice President

South Carolina Public Safety Chaplains Association

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