What happens to us when we are confronted by unexpected and dire turn of events in our lives?
What goes on deep inside the ocean of the human psyche when the very existence of our most cherished values, values forming the bases of our identity and defining who we truly are, are questioned, threatened and endangered?
What do we do? What do we grab on to and who do we look up to when in a split second our worst nightmares come true. When our lives, the lives of our families and loved ones are thrown into chaos, deep and dark loop of uncertainty, misery and despair.
We instinctively look outwards, we measure and estimate the size and scope of the danger. We look inwards and assess our strength and ability to withstand that danger.
The story of St. Vartan is here to remind us that when confronted by a grave turn of events we can never limit our decision making process merely to reason and rationale, merely to facts and numbers that can be measured, checked and verified.
The story and the feast of St. Vartan serve as a vivid reminder that for us as Christians, Armenian Christians and descendants of St. Vartan there is another crucial and yet also often forgotten and overlooked step to consider.
Turning to God. Opening the doors and windows of our hearts and souls and asking our loving Lord to step in. Turning to the Good Captain of our souls and asking Him to calm our inner stormy seas of worry and fear. To guide the sinking boats of our souls to the safety and security of His harbor of peace and safety.
Yes, in the midst of our troubles, stumbles, pain, fear and crisis it is often quite easy to simply forget to turn to God, share with God, pray, trust, rely on God.
Yet, isn’t that exactly the point from which Christian decision making process starts from?
Isn’t our trust, our openness and relationship with God the point of reference to which we constantly turn to, to ensure we do not wander off the path and lose our way.
St. Vartan did not have the army to fight the Persian immortals, nor did he have anything able to resist the devastation caused by the Persian elephants.
Yet, he had something much more powerful and profound; his faith and trust towards the Living God who was going to guide and protect him and his followers.
May the Lord watch over and protect each and every one of you. And in times of trials and tribulation grant us the faith of St. Vartan to look up to Him for guidance, comfort and protection. Amen.