A Veteran sat in the chaplain’s office. “I have decided my life isn’t working. After what I saw in combat I decided there couldn’t be a God, not the God that I was taught about. I came home bitter. My wife had waited loyally. She tried to stick it out. But I had changed. I did drugs and when I wasn’t doing drugs, I was drunk. I couldn’t hold a job. I swore constantly. My faith was trashed. My only commitment was in finding the next high.
“I joined the service with high ideals. I felt loyal to my country. I was ready to give my life, if necessary, to protect the freedoms of this nation. I was soon disillusioned with, like what they say…‘man’s inhumanity to man.’ I lost myself. I was trained to be a killer and in the process I forgot who I was.
“It’s not working, Chaplain. If I go on like this I am going to end up dead, I can see it coming. I want to believe in God again. But I don’t know how. I don’t even know who God is. I can’t believe God is an old man in the clouds or heaven. That didn’t work for me on the battlefield. I need help. Can you help?”
When our sense of purpose and meaning dies within us, so does our sense of who we are, so does our desire to commit ourselves to God, to others, or to a high ideal. This is a life-threatening situation. Without a deep commitment we become like a ship without a course, tossed about by every storm.
Yet God gives us the freedom to choose a new purpose, to make a new commitment, to choose a new reason for living. Scripture declares that though we become like one lost sheep in a hundred, God never gives up on us; God searches us out. God always offers us a new way of choosing life, a new purpose. That purpose begins with setting God as our top priority and learning to live in God’s love.