The following is a guest post from a former 10th SFG(A) and now retired Chaplain, Colonel Vahan Sipantzi.
I was watching the X Games at Aspen, CO recently and it dawned on me that what I did in the past my mind tells me I would LIKE to do today, but my body quickly tells me “It ain’t gonna happen brother.” I find it especially true when I see TV recruiting adds by the Army or the Navy – usually shouting Special Forces or Navy Seals stepping off the tail gate of a C – 130 or SCUBA clad folks doing a high speed pick up.
The young macho soldier we thought we were in by gone days who saw any challenge thrown into his path as another obstacle that could and would be overcome, we probably are no more. We were invincible, untouchable, and humble. Ultimately our actions – not our words, were the true test of what we were in the eyes of others, not what we were in our own eyes or how we saw ourselves.
How we treated our bodies in the past determined what they would look like in the days after we hung up our berets and stepped into the civilian world.
The result is a calendar pockmarked with appointments at the VA for help in dealing with our now painful knees, hips, back, or various internal organs.
Sadly in the days of our youth when we were maxing the PT test, we too often also failed to utilize the spiritual dimension of our lives. We felt that we could “handle the job (of life) all by ourselves” and didn’t need God – unless – bullets started getting too close, or the mortar rounds started to bracket our position, or we knew the road ahead was seeded with IED’s.
Now a days its not bombs and bullets that bother us it’s the growing list of old comrades whose photos grace the early pages of the Drop. Our numbers are definitely getting smaller.
Fortunately for us Jesus Christ, who so often was pushed into the background of our lives in the past, promises to be with us in the good times and bad times, in our youth, middle age, and the so called “golden years” where doctors are getting all our gold. Jesus said, “I will never leave you or forsake you” (the original “no man left behind") and He is a God who keeps His word.
Maybe it’s time for each of us to examine our daily relationship with God. He offers us the best that life has to offer both for the present and the future that come after Taps. You don’t want to meet God as a stranger, but as the son or daughter He was nailed on the cross for.
CH (Col) Vahan Sipantzi