2014 Happy New Year Image

Have you asked yourself, “What is the meaning and purpose of my life?”

Posted by Chaplain (Maj.) Olga Westfall

DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga. — As we embark on 2014, many of us wonder what this year is going to bring to the world and to our lives specifically. As we routinely reflect on significant events which transpired in 2013 and ponder on things we may experience in the New Year.

Some of us make New Year resolutions and some just “go with the flow.” Have you asked yourself, “What is the meaning and purpose of my life?”

As a Chaplain, I would encourage you to ask yourself this question and start your search. I believe when you find the answer you will be truly blessed. I found my happiness and meaning of life in 1989, when I came to know God and accepted His will in my heart, in a small underground Ukrainian church when my country was part of the former Soviet Union.

As I look back on my life journey, I see the hand of God guiding me although things were not always easy.

When faced with tragedy or challenging times in our lives, we tend to wonder why bad things happen to good people. We might even begin losing hope and begin to give up on faith. It is easy to become depressed and dependent in the midst of life’s most difficult and stressful situations.

Often, people are overwhelmed by pain, poverty, evil and misery of the world. Many of us say to ourselves, “I am just one person. What difference could I possibly make in this huge world?”

It is easy to give up, and blame God for one’s pain and suffering. How can we light a candle in a universe of darkness? By sharing what little we have, we become more like the beggar woman in the Gospel that gave one of her two small coins to another beggar who had none at all.

Smile at a stranger. Give a pleasant greeting by wishing someone a blessed day. Purchase food for a person who is hungry. There is inner satisfaction from doing good deeds.

Page six of The Little Blue Book; Guide to Air Force Core Values, defines Integrity (one of the three Air Force Core values) as a character trait. It is the willingness to do what is right even when no one is looking. However, people of faith acknowledge that God sees everything and gives us inner satisfaction for doing right things even when we may get praise for them.

I believe, if we pursue what is right and just, we will find our meaning and purpose in life, and the answers to our questions. Faith and hope will sustain us on this journey and the pursuit for our own meaning of life.