(note: I will be gone tomorrow, so this will be up for two days.)
I know a man who was trained to be a special forces sniper during the Viet Nam War. He was trained to be dropped behind enemy lines, sneak through the jungle and find and assassinate the officers and leaders of the Viet Cong. He wasn’t the only one, there were many trained like he was, and like the others, he was very good at what he did. He never told me exactly how many he killed, but I know it was more than a dozen. Every time he was called upon, he answered without hesitation, knowing every time he might not come back. Then on one assignment, he was doing what he did best, sneaking through the jungle without being seen, without making a sound and he came upon about thirty Viet Cong who had tied a Catholic priest to a tree. They had formed a firing squad of about ten men while the others stood guard. My friend was not seen by the Viet Cong, but he could see the eyes of the priest and the priest saw him. What my friend saw changed his life forever, for in the eyes of the priest there was no anger, no hate, only love, only forgiveness, and an unspoken plea not to intervene because that would probably have meant my friend’s death as he was so outnumbered. My friend heard the guns fire and saw the priest’s body slump against the tree where he was bound. Then my friend made a choice to do what he knew was the right thing. Without making a sound, he laid his sniper rifle on the ground, turned around, and silently walked out of the jungle, out of army, out of the war, and went back home where he was baptized and joined a church. He is still serving God and leading a life that so inspires those around him that they would never believe his own story even if he told them—which he doesn’t. He influenced my life, too. He told me I would know the right thing to do when the time came. Christ had done the same thing. My friend was right. The last ten years of my life have been the rightest thing I have ever done. It has not come without cost, but its not about the cost. It’s about how I couldn’t live with myself knowing the right thing to do and not doing it. My friend was not alone and neither am I. Every person reading this has at one time done the right thing or not done it and regretted it ever since. Christ gives us the strength, the will, the support, and all we will ever need to do the right thing when the time comes, but we must ask Him. Knock, and the door will be opened, ask and it will be granted, seek and ye shall find, but every one of those involves you making the choice to turn to Christ and He will give you whatever you need to do what you must. Maybe it will cost you your life, but most of the time it will cost you living your life for Christ for the rest of your years on this earth. You will always know what the right thing to do is, and Christ will always answer your plea to help you do it. I asked, He answered, and it still goes on almost every day. You want to know true happiness? Do the right thing that Christ calls you to do. It’s that simple. It’s that hard.