The long-awaited day had come. I was reporting for combat pilot training. There was no fear – only an exciting anticipation of military service and the hope of a flying career with good pay, fast cars and beautiful women.
There was no anticipation of the audit that would come that evening when my head hit the pillow, but two directives and one question would soon arrest my train of thought with the same alarm as being summoned by the IRS.
First: “Look at your life for the last 23 years.”
I couldn’t dismiss this mental intrusion so I scanned the archives of my short life and the result was this question, “If my life looks successful on the outside – good friends, a college degree, chosen for flight training valued at over 5 million dollars – why am I so unhappy on the inside?”
Next: “Would you like to think about your life 23 years from now – at 46 – like you do tonight?”
“No” I thought. “I would not.” It dawned on me that I was being summoned to a divine audit.
Finally: “That’s all you’ll have at 46 unless you turn your life over to me.”
What a sobering thought! Where had I gone wrong?
My mind began to search the dusty archives of Biblical wisdom I had shelved: “All we like sheep have gone astray. Everyone has turned to his own way.” Everyone included me. I had turned away from God, the Shepherd, to act as god of my own life. I understood this sin was treason of the highest order – rebelling against God by living life to build my own little kingdom.
Treason carries the penalty of spiritual death or separation from God while on earth, and the separation continues forever after we die. It dawned on me that my unhappy state was the result of being separated from the one who made me, and I was ready for any available reconciliation!
Although the surprise audit showed I had an eternal death penalty to pay, the Divine Auditor pointed me to the Good News of the Bible: “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him would not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
I turned from being god of my life that night and began a relationship with God on his terms which brought a growing sense of fulfillment and the assurance of eternal life. By the way, I also flew combat missions in Vietnam, got the beautiful girl (46 years ago) and loved taking hairpin curves in my Porsche.