Gotcha!

44 Paul after PromotionEarly in my military career, I showed up at a new infantry battalion one day and started meeting some of the guys. The Sergeant Major introduced himself and asked, “Hey Chaplain, do you have your Gotcha Cards?”

“No, Sergeant Major. I’ve never heard of a Gotcha Card, and don’t know what it is, so I’m pretty sure I don’t have one. What is it?”

“Our previous chaplain, every time he heard one of us cuss or swear or use the Lord’s name in vain would pull out a business card, but all it said in big bold letters was Gotcha. So when the guys heard we were getting a new chaplain, they started wondering if you were going to be like the last one.”

“I bet you guys hated him.”

“Yes. We. Did.”

“Tell you what. I’m not planning on having any Gotcha Cards printed up, so you can relax. Cuss if you want. I’m just here to love you guys.”

Apparently, a bunch of Soldiers were listening to the conversation, because as soon as I made that last statement, a cheer erupted from around the corner.

“You’re gonna fit in fine here, Chaps. Nice to have you aboard.”

Over the next two years, I led more than 25 of those guys to faith in Christ, and I never once said, “Gotcha.” Oh they cussed, alright. But I figure it’s the Holy Spirit’s job to reach them, and he does a pretty good job. I just had to do my part, which was love them and be consistent in setting an example of what a Christian is and does.

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Author: Paul Linzey

After pastoring in Southern California, I went into the Army as a chaplain. Now retired from the military, I'm focusing on writing, speaking, and mentoring. The overall theme of my work is Biblical Principles for Life, as applied to relationships, spirituality, career, and stewardship of one's life.

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