Tom Kapusta loved his father. Tom was proud of his career in the military. After learning about the seventh day Sabbath, Tom's faith in God was challenged in both of these areas that were dear to him. His father disowned him for leaving the family faith, and he was to be court marshaled for not attending military meetings on the Sabbath.
Tom felt he had to prioritize his life; he had to decide what was most important to him - following God all the way or his relationship with his father and his career. His father's rejection was very hard to take. Tom found comfort in praying to God and in the hope that one day his father would understand and accept that following God came first in Tom's life. Tom was in the Air Force at the time and was released from active duty to serve in the active reserves. The Reserves met on Saturdays and he was required to attend the meetings. He informed his commander that due to his newly found religious beliefs he would not be able to make any meetings between sunset Friday and sunset Saturday, but would be happy to pull extra duty at any other time. Tom tried to inform his commander of his constitutional right to religious freedom. The commander insisted that no other provision could be made and that, if Tom did not report to the Saturday meetings, he would be court marshaled or receive a dishonorable discharge.
In either, case Tom's record would be marked for life, and it could affect his career opportunities in the future. While his relationship with his father might one day heal, this type of a mark on his record would be permanent. Tom struggled in prayer with God for many days. His friends and the congregation he attended also prayed with and for Tom. The National Service Organization, the military support organization of his congregation, became very involved with his situation, and after nearly ten months of prayer and deliberation between the military and the attorneys at the National Service Organization, it was determined that: Tom would be able to report back to active duty with Sabbaths off; he would not be court marshaled; and would not be issued a dishonorable discharge. For ten months Tom was tried and tested. It wasn't easy. Many times he felt like giving in; the pressure was intense. But through prayer Tom was strengthened by God to stand for God's Word. Along with the commandment to remember God's Sabbath, God also gave Tom the power and the ability to follow the commandment.
And about Tom's relationship with his dad – his father refused to speak to him or let him in his home. After 6 months of earnest prayer by Tom and his friends, Tom's mother called and said, "Your father would like to meet with you." When Tom arrived at their home his father said, "I raised you to think for yourself and if you choose to believe the way that you do that is up to you but I don't want you to ever talk about your beliefs in my home." Tom told him that the experience he was having with God was so powerful that he could not keep it in and that it was such an important part of his life that he could not promise that the topic would never come up. His father replied, "Well, then, do the best that you can." And he reached over and gave Tom a big hug. It wasn't more than half a year after that before Tom's dad was asking Tom religious questions and reading books that Tom offered him.
Originally from Jewish Discoveries by Jeff Zaremsky, pages 243-244, which contains a total of 22 fascinating chapters of biblical history and lessons plus 25 rich Jewish tradition sections, and 27 powerful testimonies, with over 40 beautifully rendered professional works of art all on over 300 jam packed pages. You can own this treasure by visiting Jewish Discoveries.