National Chaplain's Message
Robert Allen Vick
National Chaplain of The American Legion
The professional sports drafts are over for another year.
Many young women and men are looking forward to a long and profitable career. To obtain this lofty honor, they dedicated their lives, time, money and effort to becoming proficient in their sport.
There are, by far, more seekers than there are the chosen.
Does this mean those not chosen are somehow not successful? No, not at all.
This dream of future success will impel them to always be ready when their opportunity comes. They are ready to accept the challenge.
All must realize that fame is fleeting, at best.
These young women and men must realize they will be heroes to their younger fans. And they must strive to set an example for those who look up to them. This is an awesome responsibility and should be foremost in their minds.
They should be a role model for good.
We all have heroes. Even me!
I am an old man, but I have those to whom I look for example. My heroes today are much different than they were when I was young.
The real heroes are the ones who do something of an eternal nature, something that uplifts mankind. They do something that will last forever.
Today’s heroes are often defined by who they look to as heroes. You tend to emulate your heroes.
If you look up to the gods of fame and fortune, you seek a fleeting and fickle existence.
Are our military veterans heroes? Yes! They stood for freedom from tyranny, religious freedom, the right to succeed in an environment where all can participate.
They fought for my right to worship as I choose. To honor God as he deserves to be honored. And yes, my right to call on Him and to speak His name. all have that right.
My hero didn’t quit. Heroes don’t quit.
My hero was beaten with 39 lashes five times. He was beaten with a rod. He was ship wrecked, he was stoned. He was stranded at sea. He was robbed many times. He was hated by his own people. He was falsely accused. He was in pain, hunger, thirst, naked, homeless and alone. But he did not quit.
You read about the perils of St. Paul in II Corinthians 22-27. Paul is my hero. And to whom did he look for example? His inspiration was the holy son of God, Jesus the Christ, the Messiah.
If you want a hero, look no further than Christ or the Apostle Paul.
So why were we created and who are we?
We were created to love and serve God and to fellowship with Him.
Who is man?
Oh man who are you?
Cast adrift upon a sea of doubt,
Tossed by billows and assailed by winds of misfortune,
Plagued by feelings of uncertainty.
Oh, God, who are you?
Sailing sure seas of certainty,
Calming billows and caressing with gentle winds of love,
Enduring thy servants with feelings of confidence.
I, man, who am I?
Heir to a lost estate.
Partaking of sin and wrong.
I cry out in despair.
Am I alone?
Is there no one who hears?
Is there no one who cares?
You, God, who are you?
Who created me in innocence,
Giver of all good things,
Who suffered and died in silence,
And yet lives to hear my plea.
Thou art mine,
I am thine!
Safe forever more.
Who am I?
I am special,
I am unique,
Having been born twice.
Will know death only once.
I am a priest,
Heir to a throne,
Beloved of God.
Chaplain Robert Allen Vick