When it comes to religion, I really have no dog in the fight. I am an atheist, and honestly, that label actually bothers me. I simply do not believe that a higher power exists—I have never understood why that needs a label. That being said, I do not care what anyone else believes, or does not believe. If it makes you happy, awesome, if it does not make you happy, find something that does.
This past week I came across an article about Khallid Shabazz, a name that really won’t mean anything to anyone except those who are close to him. Lt. Colonel Khallid Shabazz will be the first Muslim Chaplin to be promoted to Colonel in the U.S. Army.
What is interesting about Col. Shabazz’s journey is that it did not follow a traditional path.
Shortly after converting to Islam, then-Sgt. Khallid Shabazz struggled to find his way while his devout Lutheran family and fellow soldiers questioned his move, and with a few Article 15s for insubordination on his record, Shabazz, a field artilleryman at the time, wanted out of the military.
Then, one day while training out in the field, an Army chaplain approached him and struck up a conversation. “Honestly, it was like a revelation from God,” Shabazz said. “When it hit my ears, I knew that was what I was going to do in life. It was incredible.”
The Christian chaplain had told Shabazz, who was a teacher before he joined the Army, that he should consider being a Muslim chaplain. That way, the chaplain said, he could help other Muslim soldiers in need of guidance.
Shabazz later became a chaplain, and proudly wore his uniform with the Islamic crescent moon stitched onto it. The career change was a catalyst for him, as he went on to achieve several other goals.
Col. Shabazz now holds four masters degrees, and two doctorates. He has also written three books and teaches online college courses at four different schools. He strikes me as someone who found his passion, followed it, and lives a very fulfilling life.
You would not know that of you were to read the Facebook comments on this article.