Captain Tom’s instruction for his funeral were ‘March in, March out and Move on.’ A retired army officer, he became known during the lockdown for walking around his garden to raise money for the NHS; just before his 100th birthday he walked 100 laps around his garden and raised nearly £33 million!
In his military career, Captain Tom faced many challenges and dangers. We knew him just for a year, but in that time he earned our respect and admiration. He was a humble man, who knew who he was and knew his purpose. Even with most of his life behind him, he didn’t look back - he lived in the present and had hope for the future. He ran the race with perseverance and fought the good fight.
Captain Tom was strong and resilient. Many characters we know in the Bible had this quality - look at the lives of Joseph, Moses, Daniel and Jesus. Resilience doesn’t mean that we are immune to stressful circumstances, (which we have a lot of around us at the moment), rather we can learn to cope with it and overcome it.
Some people are naturally more resilient to stress. It depends on our personalities, genes and upbringing, but we can grow in resilience, and can teach young people and children to develop coping strategies. These skills can become internalised so are part of their character throughout life.
Research shows that resilience also contributes to a happy and fulfilling life… even to Captain Tom’s age.
How Do We Develop Resilience?
· The world is not perfect, so accept that we will have problems, big and little ones, and it’s normal
· God doesn’t always give us an easy way out, so see adversity as opportunities for growth - then we will be less likely to feel powerless and become passive. Moderate stress can actually motivate and stimulate
· Deal with problems as they come and help your young to express their feelings - don’t stuff feelings down, for they are buried alive and will affect us later
· Set realistic goals and persevere. Skills can go under pressure so practise them
· Be thankful
· Stay calm
God knows what we are going through, He will guide, comfort and strengthen us.