Chappy’s corner “It’s a life worth living!”

Ole had a black lab named Old Blue that was a great hunting dog but one day Old Blue came into the yard with something in his mouth. The faithful dog dropped the item at his master’s feet and immediately Ole recognized the item as a dead rabbit.  It was all covered with dirt, but no blood and as he looked at it closer he recognized the rabbit was his neighbor’s prize winning pet rabbit.  Ole went to the fence and saw the rabbit cage was empty.  Ole panicked thinking Old Blue had killed his neighbor’s bunny, but then he had an idea. He washed the rabbit off and climbed the fence and put the dead rabbit back into the cage.  Ole hung around the backyard until his neighbor returned home.  The neighbor’s wife went inside the house and then out into the backyard.  Immediately she started to scream, so Ole rushed to the fence to watch.   The lady kept screaming “My rabbit, my rabbit’s dead!” Ole began to apologize but before he could explain, the woman cried out, “You don’t understand, my rabbit died two days ago and we buried it, and now it’s back!”


One can understand the woman’s shock, life after death is not what one expects in this world filled with sickness, suffering and that sting of death.   A pastor tried explaining it to a group of preschoolers and he started by asking “Does anyone know what the resurrection is?” One little boy said, “I don’t know what it is  for sure but I do know that if it lasts more than four hours you need to see a doctor.”  That boy didn’t understand and he is not alone.


Many folks will go through this weekend not knowing how precious life is.  Some may even think life isn’t worth living.  Maybe they suffered the loss of a job, or their health, or maybe their boyfriend or girlfriend left them, or they are dealing with an addiction that has destroyed their marriage and family. Due to their losses in life, to the sorrows and the depression in their lives many folks think life isn’t worth living, and many want to “check out”, they want to end their lives.  They think life isn’t worth living, but they are wrong.  Life is a gift and at this moment it may not be easy or pleasant, but no one ever said it would be easy. 


For example this  week is called holy week and for many people it is the most precious time of the year as we remember what Jesus did for us.   As one looks at Jesus life one can quickly see that Jesus life wasn’t easy, and the life of his friends wasn’t easy. That’s especially true during this “holy week” as we see Jesus betrayed by his own disciple, falsely accused, beaten, whipped, condemned and then crucified on the cross.  Jesus had to suffer an agonizing death on the cross and as he died his friends saw their hopes disappear.  No one can imagine what Jesus went through, but he did it to give us life.    As Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly!” By Jesus suffering and death, the debt of sin is paid in full and we have forgiveness with God. That forgiveness brings life with God now and forever because Jesus not only died to save us, he rose again to give us everlasting life.  That’s what Christians like I and others believe, and for us this week is extremely important.


But as all of us ponder this week, may we all realize that each of us have our dark and difficult days in life. We may go through all kinds of sorrow and suffering, but we need to remember that we are not alone.  There are others with us offering to help us and we need to take their offers of help.  Counselors, family members, neighbors, chaplains and co workers are there to listen, to help and to remind us that every life is special and every life is worth living!


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


CH (COL) David Gunderson

State Chaplain for SDARNG