I’ve always been inordinately independent. As young as 8-years-old I would disappear into the Ozark Mountains alone to wander about. Nights, I lay on my back and peered up at the stars, instinctively acknowledging that the universe had to have been created beyond mankind’s limited boundaries. The universe and life were not an accident. Anyone who thought so had to be a fool.
I was a fool. For much of my life as soldier, writer, adventurer, wanderer, I trekked the globe.
In Vietnam, I picked berries with a papasan for the family’s lunch. I raced camels in Egypt and climbed the Great Pyramid. I trekked the Sahara. I boated the Amazon and Nile rivers. As a pilot, I took my Mom for her very first—and only—airplane flight. I was a finalist for NASA’s Journalist-in-Space Project. . .
The meaning of life was to live it fully. I gave little thought to tomorrow.
I saw much good in the world—an old woman walking with me across Guatemala knitted me a tiny cup and saucer as we walked. Zorgon in Algeria, who had an arm missing, took me into his house and family. My sons grew up to be successful people. I was fortunate to have friends. . .
As a cop and soldier, I also saw much evil and violence: Eight-year-olds murdering five-year-olds. Sexual assaults by adults on babies; cold-blooded murder. Immorality, selfishness, drugs, deceit, theft, crimes of unimaginable brutality.
I was married four times. Nothing I’m proud of. It’s just a fact. I was a man in a cocoon—dependent on no one or nothing. God remained rather remote.
Donna Sue is the best human being—and a Christian—I’ve ever known. We’ve been married 21 years, a record buster for me.
I contacted cancer. For the first time in my life I found myself dependent on someone else. Donna Sue has been with me through it all, lovingly and freely. A totally new experience for me.
At church, Reverend Mark delivered a sermon on “What do you want to do before you die?” Four things, he said, we need to make life complete: Meaning; purpose; happiness; and love. Poor indeed is the person who exists without them. For a person to achieve these four goals, he must accept that there is a Higher Power Who provides them; he cannot provide them for himself.
Look up into the stars and planets of the universe—and we can see Who He is.
The miniseries SIX, based on SEAL Team Six real-life missions, premiers on History Channel on January 18. Watch the series and read the two novelizations accompanying it: SIX: Blood Brothers; and SIX: Retribution, by Charles W. Sasser. Soon available everywhere.