Chappy’s corner “If it’s broke…”

Ole and Swen flew from Minneapolis to Dallas, shortly after the plane took off, the pilot announced one of our four engines just broke down, and that means our flight will take one hour longer.  A few minutes later, the pilot announced, “I’m sorry to say, another engine just quit, which means we only have two engines working that means our flight will now be two hours late.”  About thirty minutes later, the pilot announced “I just found out our third engine broke down, so we will be three hours late getting to our destination.”  At that point Ole turned to Swen and said, “Wow if that fourth engine quits we could be up here for hours.”


Ole’s logic was incorrect concerning the airplane, but if they had been a car or bus and the engine quit, then they would have been stuck some place.  I’ve been stuck alongside the road many times when my car broke down.  When things break, it stops us from doing what we planned.   For example in the past two weeks, I’ve broken a tooth, the hot water tank broke, one car’s battery died, while the other car’s transmission broke down, and while replacing a dead light bulb, the other one broke apart, and two days ago I dropped a salsa jar that broke into a dozen pieces.  The good news is that all these broken items could be repaired or replaced fairly easily. It might cost some money but it could be done.


But a broken relationship can’t be so easily repaired.  A fight between husband and wife or between father and son, or mother and daughter, or with the in-laws or the neighbors or coworkers can lead to broken relationships.  When dealing with people it is not a quick fix because people are not things.  People have feelings and when those feelings are injured, and then people often become angry. Angry people often say or do things that cause more hurt feelings and the cycle keeps going on and on… until two people are no longer talking or having anything to do with each other.   Why do people act that way?  There could be many reasons, but basically it is because each and every one of us is broken. 


None of us are perfect. We are all sinners and the consequence of sin is broken relationships with others and with God.  Because of sin we are cut off from God.  But the good news is that instead of staying angry with us, God choose to forgive us.  It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t cheap to forgive us. To repair our broken relationship God sent Jesus to pay the price for our sin and to make us whole again.  The bible puts it this way, “But God demonstrated his love for us in that while were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since therefore we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies were reconciled to god by the death of his son. “


God made it possible for us to be reconciled with Him by forgiving us all our sins. God has forgiven us, and He gives us the power to do the same thing.  As God has forgiven us, so we can forgive others. It’s not easy, but if we remember what God did for us, then we have the power to forgive and where there is forgiveness there is healing for the hurts in life. It may not happen overnight, but if we work at it, hopefully it can happen.  It will require those involved to confess that we are all broken, but that doesn’t mean we are no good.  For God has restored us so we can be people who are reconciled with him, and now can be reconciled with others.  As God forgives us, so we can forgive others too. Where there is forgiveness there is the power to repair those relationships that are broken. 


That’s just my thoughts from this SE corner of South Dakota. CH (COL) David Gunderson

State Chaplain for SDARNG