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Chappy’s Corner "Get a haircut”

The 16 year old son of a Command Sergeant Major wanted to get a car. So he asked his father, “Dad can we talk about me getting a car?” The dad replied, “Well I think you need to shape up a bit. For example, you could do better in school, and you could help your mother out more around the house, and you hair is way too long.”  So the young man left and about two months later came back and said, “Hey Dad can we talk now about me getting a car?”  The dad replied, “Well, your grades at school have improved and that’s good.  Your mother tells me you are keeping your room clean and helping out around the house.  But son, your hair is too long.  You need a haircut!”  The young man replied, “Well Dad I was thinking about that the other day, and then I saw the picture of Jesus on a wall at church and I noticed he had long hair, so I thought if Jesus can have long hair, why not me?”  The father replied, “You are absolutely right son. Jesus did have long hair and so can you. But Jesus also walked everywhere he went and so will you.”

I got a haircut this week.  In the military it is something we do because the regulations require it.   But one of the interesting things is that after people get out of the Army they tend to grow their hair longer. Some guys even grow a beard.  Once out of the military the regulations no longer apply to them. They are free from the regulations.

In the Bible Jesus once said, “Anyone who commits a sin is a slave to sin but if the Son sets you free you are free indeed.”  For Christians like me those words mean that nobody is perfect and we are all prisoners of sin, but through Jesus who is perfect we are set free.  To get our freedom Jesus who knew no sin came into this world and walked amongst us, but more importantly he walked up a hill outside Jerusalem and gave His life for us.  There on that cross Christ suffered and died in order to pay the full price for our freedom.  He also freed us from death by rising from the grave that’s the message of Easter.

Sadly many folks think the way to be free from sin and death is for them to do something or to follow certain rules.  For example I know a man who had been in prison. There he was told what to wear, when to eat and so on… then he was released on parole.  Now he had some freedom, but he still had to report each week to his parole officer. He wasn’t free to leave the state without permission.  One day I saw him at church and he shared that his parole period was over.  He smiled and said he no longer had to report in, he could travel to other places without seeking permission from the authorities.  He was a free man.

Some folks think they are on parole with God. They must do this or that.  But in Christ we are pardon, we are free.  Being free in Christ means we use our freedom to serve God and to serve others.  For us freedom is a gift bought by Christ.

The same is true for our freedom in this great land.  Our freedom to do what we want to do is a gift but with a price.  In many places such freedom doesn’t exist, but here in this country we still have certain freedoms because of people in the past fought for it. Some fought for it in the halls of Congress others fought for it in standing up against unfair and illegal practices like Jim Crow laws.  But most of all this freedom was fought for by the folks who proudly and faithfully wear this nation’s uniform and who don’t mind once in awhile to get a haircut.

That’s just my thoughts from this SE corner of South Dakota!

CH (COL) David Gunderson

JFHQ SDARNG