Ohio’s Traditional Deer-Gun Hunting Season begins Nov. 27 WWII veteran honored in banner raising ceremony Veteran of three wars honored for volunteer work Charlotte Evans Jason A Barr Why we celebrate Manchester man killed in single-car accident Adams County Election Results – 2017 Hubert Knauff To keep or not to keep Time again for the changing of the seasons November proclaimed as Adoption Recognition and Recruitment Month Local business is seven decades old and counting Local student gets Nashville call Senior Profile: Gabe Grooms Lady Indians fall in districts Quest For The Cup complete for Dragons Meeting a true sports hero WU’s McCarty named District Player of the Year With regional run, Pennywitt completes memorable career West Union eighth grade volleyball finishes as SHAC runner-up Senior Profile: Tray Brand Greyhounds drop home finale, finish at 4-6 Lady Devils fall in district semis Devils go down in district finals Matt Seas headed back to State XC Meet Senior Profile: Charlee Louden Lady Indians ousted in sectional final Lady Devils down Minford 4-1 in district semis North Adams volleyball claims fourth consecutive sectional crown Senior Profile: Brooklyn Howlett Afterschool fun begins at NAES Wearing it pink in October Kenneth L Austin Jay E Minnich Reuben E Hershberger Bobby L Williams 18 years just isn’t long enough Emotional, historic, and victorious Taking action against addiction Utilities commission approves DP&L electric security plan What matters and what doesn’t Oh dear, is that a deer? Junior Gaffin Charlotte J Thatcher Matthew D Miller Megan R Phillips Ralph M Swearingen Linda C Ackley Robert Ralston Shelly Seaman Increased access to treatment, Improving economic opportunity keys to combating Ohio’s Opioid Crisis Seas siblings are again SHAC Cross-Country Champions Lady Hounds cruise to sectional victory Senior Profile: Alyssa Hoskins 101 and another sectional championship Lady Indians claim sectional title North Adams tops Peebles for sectional soccer crown Senior Profile: Shay Boldman 13.5 seconds, heartbreak for West Union PHS JV Volleyball completes unbeaten season On the course that Nicklaus helped design On the ballot: Meigs Township Trustees West Union Christian Church will again be collection center for Operation Christmas Child Peebles voters will choose council members in upcoming election Seven candidates seek seats on ACOVSD school board A time for transformation What will future generations say? Finding all those treasures Janet K Campbell Robert D Hill Lady Devils blank West Union 7-0 in SHAC soccer finale Vikings invade and conquer the Greyhounds Outpouring of community support for local business woman with cancer Manchester mourns teen killed in single-car crash Kylie S Lucas Sharon R Grooms Steven L Wootten Forest J McDaniel Ralph O Grooms Adams County teenager dies in auto accident Charles N Vance Wesley M Baldwin James Kennedy Tom A Mihalovich Brand hat trick leads North Adams past West Union 5-2 in SHAC soccer action Senior Profile: Bryant Lung Lady Hounds pull off thrilling Senior Night win Volleyball milestones continue to pile up at North Adams Banner season for Lady Indians soccer SHAC holds Junior High Volleyball Tournament Tournament match ups set for volleyball and soccer Senior Profile: Morgan Edmisten Hounds dominate, improve to 3-4 Is this not the best time of the year? Volley For The Cure is another big success Getting everything we ask for Oh, that dreaded leaf project Manchester: Adams County’s oldest community looks to the future with hope Congressman visits Manchester’s newest business

This isn’t what I signed up for

The year was 2004 and Dennis had just returned from a tour in Iraq as an Army National Guard platoon sergeant. Dennis and I attended a Saturday morning men’s Bible study together for a while. I looked forward to those Saturday mornings and I thank God for using those men to teach, challenge and inspire me, including Dennis.

Dennis always impressed me as being very deliberate and genuine, the type of person you could count on in the clutch, so I was always interested in what Dennis had to say. One morning our discussion was about how people turn to God to fix their lives, but later become disillusioned and desert when He doesn’t meet their expectations, or when they realize they are still responsible and accountable.

Dennis shared, “It reminds me of a situation in Iraq. I was 44 years old but there were some other guys there too who had been around for a while, but a lot of the guys were young. One day we experienced incoming fire and there was a lot of shouting, but I heard this young fellow say, “This isn’t what I signed up for. I signed up for the college tuition, for the GI Benefits.” Dennis continued, “I can’t remember if I said it directly to him or to the fellow right next to me, but I said, “This is exactly what you signed up for.”

I’ve never forgotten what Dennis shared that Saturday morning. Dennis’ story reminds me of Jesus’ exhortation to the “great multitudes” that followed him. “Whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it. Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? So likewise, whoever of you who does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:27-33)

I’m also reminded of the Biblical story about two brothers, James and John, who were apparently interested in the “fringe benefits. “Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Him (Jesus) with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him. Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom… But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? Whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:17-28)

You might be asking, “What does this have to do with me?” I’m not a Christian and I’m not planning on forsaking all to be Jesus’ disciple. Well, there are some principles in life that are universal and inescapable. With every role, relationship, and position, there is a cup and a baptism, rights and responsibilities, sacrifices as well as fringe benefits.

So I suppose the moral of this story is that before signing on the dotted line make sure you understand what you’re signing up for. Sit down first and count the cost, and evaluate whether you have what it takes to finish it. Or according to Aesop’s fable, “The Two Frogs and the Well”, Think twice before you leap!

Loren Hardin is a social worker with Southern Ohio Medical Center – Hospice and can be reached at 740-356-2525 or hardinl@somc.org.

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Straight Paths

Loren Hardin

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