The Chaplain's Corner: Caring for Airmen more than Anyone Thinks Possible

  • Published
  • By Chaplain (Maj.) Daniel Millner
  • 149th Fighter Wing


Mark Twain once said, "The two most important days in your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why." We all want to know why God put us on this earth, don't we? We all want to know the point and the purpose of our being. We all want to find out why? But the truth is, we can't find out why we're here by asking ourselves or each other. We can only find out our true purposes in life if we listen for our callings, if we listen to God's calling for us in our lives. We all have a calling – the fact that you've been created means that God has called you for something bigger than yourself. To simply exist is not an incredible feat, but to live a life of purpose – that is the greatest achievement anyone can attain. Let us re-purpose this time of limiting our social interactions with one another to listen for our callings. Let us use these days of silence to be still with our own thoughts and reflections, and to hear what is being asked of us, as Scripture says, “After the earthquake there was a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire – a thin, still voice” (1 Kings 9:12). We all ask the question “Why?” But now, let us listen for God’s response.    


“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you!” (Deuteronomy 31:6)


There was once a king who decided to place a large boulder right in the middle of a well-traveled road. Every day, the king would hide himself in the bushes and watch to see if anyone would move the boulder out of the way. Day after day, the king would peer through the bushes and watch as merchants and peddlers would travel that road only to walk around the boulder, avoiding it altogether. Many people loudly blamed the king for not keeping the roads clear, complaining and griping, but none of them did anything about getting the boulder out of the way! That is until one day, a simple peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to push the boulder out of the road. After much struggling, he finally succeeded. As the peasant went back to pick up his vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. To his surprise and joy, he found that the purse was filled with gold coins and a note from the king explaining that the gold was meant for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. I find so much meaning and inspiration in this story, because isn’t it so true? When we don’t meet those challenges which lay in our paths head on, we lose the opportunity to find the gold hidden within the struggle. 

Gunfighters, in the midst of dealing with the impact COVID-19 has had and continues to have on all of us, let us commit ourselves to being people who will always try to move the obstacles we encounter from our way, so that we can grow as a result of our efforts and share in the reward for having tried. As one Sage said, “It is the effort, the measure of earnest striving, of devoted endeavor, of sacrifices made and privation endured, all for the realization of good purposes that meet with God’s approval – that determines the true worth of both a person and his or her being.” 

And so, as you prepare to encounter the boulders that have been placed in your path which could potentially keep you from moving forward, my hope is that you think about the peasant in the story – that you will think about moving that boulder and the reward which comes from taking the time to clear the path, not just for ourselves, but for all who follow us. Gunfighters, let us prepare ourselves, our hearts, our minds, our souls, and our hands, to move those obstacles out of our way with every ounce of our energy, turning them into opportunities for growth, so that we may all continue on our journeys, moving higher and higher, sharing in the rewards meant for our honest and faithful efforts.