My husband is probably really happy that I am 41-years-old because as I have been cruising part-time job ads, I have lingered over a few jobs in the Navy Reserves. Alas, I am elderly in the eyes of the military. Unless I want to be a Chaplain. And, I don’t. I don’t think I would be of much comfort to anyone asking why, since my answers would be less spiritual and more along the lines of, “well, when a government really, really wants some oil…”
Having once found solace in the idea that my steps were pre-ordered, I understand why that is a comfort. And I understand that there is comfort in the idea that the most horrible things happen for some greater reason, but truly, sometimes the reason is just that someone, somewhere is a sociopath. I don’t believe that everything happens for a specific, greater purpose, but I do believe that if you are willing to offer up your pain as a sacrifice, you can use it to a greater good.
What do I mean?
Marion Zirkle is a missionary who lost nearly her whole family in a plane crash–that’s the worst thing I can imagine happening to me. I attended one of her meetings and heard her speak on the loss, and listened to her talk about how there were mornings when her heart hurt so badly, she thought it would burst with pain, and about how some mornings, it was all she could do to convince herself to even sit up in the bed, much less put her feet on the floor. She talked about making every movement a sacrifice to God, and letting him work through every footstep. Life goes on, and you have the choice to quit it and let it pass over you, or get on with it and make it something different and good.
I admired her attitude. Of course, I never want the opportunity to follow in her footsteps, and never want the opportunity to put it into practice in my own life, but in the small ways, I attempt to follow her example.
That’s what my Chaplain-ry advice would be. It’s the gentle version of, “Suck it up, and keep walking.” It’s not an easy answer, though. Then, I don’t believe in easy answers.
I made my peace about my faith a long time ago, and my peace is that my faith grows and evolves along with the rest of me. I decided to follow the teachings of Jesus and not worry about the sweet by-and-by, or Noah’s ark, or Gideon’s fleece, or hellfires and damnations. I may as well be Thomas Jefferson, which is to say that I would make a crap Chaplain in the denomination of my studies.
That, and I say crap a lot.