The Cadet and the Water Fountain

Excerpt:  From Woodstock To Eternity:  Culture Wars

From Woodstock To Eternity

From Woodstock To Eternity

Blam!!  The door right in front of him slams open and spits out a skin headed kid in a gray ROTC uniform, his back ram rod straight, his arms fixed at his sides – slightly bent at the elbow, his neck locked in place in line with his back, his eyes straight ahead.  He takes two steps straight out of his room in front of Morgan.  Morgan jumps back, startled out of his fog, and fixes his eyes in amazement on the cadet.

He stops at attention for half a second, then brings his right foot back behind his left foot and performs a flawless right face.  He marches down the hallway with perfect precision, not flinching, not wavering, exactly two inches from the wall.  He marches right up to the water fountain sticking out from the wall, does a sharp left face for two steps, a sharp right face for two steps, another sharp right face for two steps, then a sharp left face to continue marching down the hall, exactly two inches from the wall.

Freedom That Brings Victory

Freedom That Brings Victory

Morgan stands transfixed with his mouth open.  He has never seen anything like it. He’s blown away by the precision and discipline the cadet just displayed walking down the hall…

“What must it be like to be under such control?”  Morgan asks himself.  “That was so strange!  He looks like a robot, but he’s a man. …They have sucked all the life and freedom out of this guy and made him into an automated, mechanical, brain dead, machine! I can’t believe anyone would allow themselves to be subjected to this.”

That’s what it was, it was subjugation.  That cadet, and everyone like him might as well have had their minds wrapped a thousand times with bands and chains until they had no will of their own.  Then their heads were opened up, and they poured in the instructions, the rules, the involuntary servitude, like a bizarre, science fiction nightmare. …

Later in life, …  He could now see the value of discipline and training for success.  It takes discipline to wake up and get to work on time.  You have to follow instructions to do your job right.  If your job is highly intricate, or carries a lot of responsibility, your degree of discipline and your ability to stay under authority could make the difference between success and failure, maybe between life and death.  One day he was reading in Psalm 2,

Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing?  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying,

“Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.”

Psalm 2 Freedom

Psalm 2 Freedom

He coined the phrase for this so-called freedom from the disciplines of God’s direction:


Copyright © 2015 John D. Cooper

2 thoughts on “The Cadet and the Water Fountain

  1. The ironies of freedom and bondage are explained so well in Romans 6:16 where Paul talks about how freedom from one lifestyle is bondage to another, for better or for worse.
    “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness.”

    Good stuff!

  2. Thank you for your encouragement. Many people simply don’t realize the strength that is found in denying ourselves, disciplining ourselves, and receiving instruction. It actually grows us and ultimately makes us freer in the end.

    God Bless

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