Fruit of Your Generosity

  • Published
  • By Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Michael Williams
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Chaplain
I love the holiday season. Despite of the all-out commercial assault, the department store isles crowded with shoppers and parking lots jammed to capacity, I love the music, decorations and the anticipation that the season brings. 

As a Christian Airman, I certainly bask in the spiritual significance that Advent and Christmas has for me and my family. I also love how the season celebrates an overarching theme of giving, emphasizing the virtues of kindness and charity, unselfishness and generosity. I look forward to some of the movies that play this time every year, movies like, "It's a Wonderful Life," "White Christmas," and, perhaps my favorite, "Scrooge" because to me they emphasize these virtues. And the movies affirm for me what I believe to be a truth, that in the struggle between self-centeredness and selflessness, the deepest satisfaction in life is received through selfless giving.

I've always taken pride in the authentic generosity of our Air Force communities, and I love to boast of it to my non-military family and friends. Everywhere I've been stationed, chapels, squadrons, groups, wings and professional organizations have sponsored charitable project after charitable project for the purpose of sharing the blessings of their own abundance. They share everything from Thanksgiving baskets to Toys-for-Tots; countless contributions for our own Airmen and their families at home and abroad, for families in our local communities and for kids and families in very remote areas around the world.

Your giving is doubly profound to me because you give charitably even as you give the gift of your own life's service for the sake of our nation's security. And the magnitude of the giving of our retirees who continue to offer themselves through volunteer services among us is simply off the charts.

And so as I pause this holiday season to count my own blessings, I give special thanks for each of you who serve in our McConnell community and for your precious families. Because of the giving that flows from your charitable character during the holiday season, many other lives are enriched and blessed.