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Crossroads of the Marine Corps

Nothing new under the sun

23 Sep 2016 | LCDR Garry R. Thornton, Jr., CHC, USN, Regimental Chaplain, Wounded Warrior Regiment Marine Corps Base Quantico

Well, it is here again… Modern Day Marine... an opportunity for Marine Military Exposition to showcase the latest innovations in military equipment and systems. This annual event held here at Marine Corps Base Quantico is designed specifically to address the ever-evolving, expeditionary needs of the Marine Corps and the plethora of challenges faced by our magnificent Marines as they serve in harm’s way in every clime and place.

Seriously, we are fixated in our culture and in our world with all things new and new ways of doing all things. We spend billions of dollars on “new and improved” each year.

Well, let me allow King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, say it: “9 What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. 10 Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new?” It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10)

Now, I, too, am fascinated with advancements in technology. I love fresh ideas, exciting new information, cutting edge methods and techniques and nifty new and improved gadgets, equipment and gear. In fact, I am convinced that next year… or the year after… or possibly the next, someone in the golf industry will develop a revolutionary set of golf clubs and a hot ball that will finally allow me to maximize the peculiarities of my swing and lower my score so that I can finally join the PGA Tour. NOT!

As the legendary and very smooth Bruce Hornsby sang so long ago, “Some things will never change.”

So, as I try to wrap up this vain attempt at a new spin on an old theme, I hope that you will not be left dazed and confused. Instead, I pray that you will find it to be a diamond in the rough. By all means, remain open to the possibility of new ways of doing old things. Take advantage of current trends, tips, tools and tricks that can save time, improve performance, simplify or streamline tasks and, thus, make life easier and more enjoyable. However, be cautious to simply assume that newer is always better. In the end we should simply seek to do all things to the glory of God and to the best of our ability, keep His commandments and live in right relationship to God and our fellow man. (I Corinthians 10:31, Colossians 3:17, Ecclesiastes 12:13)

I will close by reminding you that your unit or base chaplain is an invaluable source of encouragement, wisdom and pastoral care and counseling. And, whatever you share is confidential.

Marine Corps Base Quantico