Life is Too Short

Ibrahim Alğan was, in many respects, a normal man. He was 25 years old, working in Turkey as a school counselor, and enjoyed playing basketball and swimming. The only problem, at least in his mind, was that he was only 5ft, 2in tall. “If you’re shorter, people don’t take you as seriously as a tall person,” Ibrahim has said. “I strongly believe that charisma is one of the must-have features in leadership. When you’re short, you start 1-0 down.” His strong belief caused him to search high and low for ways to increase his height. Supplements, pressure point stimulation, and even his makeshift version of “the rack” were all, like notches on the doorframe, milestones on his path to greater heights.

Predictably, nothing helped except disguised platform shoes which he often wore. But those caused another problem. “It was like a false dream,” he said. “Every time I took off my shoes, I was facing reality again.” Not only this, but his “only goal, I might even call it my life’s purpose, was to get taller.” That is until he discovered a revolutionary new medical procedure. Leg-lengthening surgery. Since then, he has spent five years and almost $30,000 adding a grand total of 5in to his overall height.

He now runs a clinic that specializes in these surgeries for people who want to change their height, including transgender people looking to match their preferred gender’s typical height range. He does this while dealing with the complications that come along with such modifications; leg and joint pain, deformation, bone density and formation issues. But, “People don’t make jokes about my height anymore.” I guess Jesus was wrong when He said, “And who of you by being worried can add a cubit to his stature?” (Matt. 6:27). If we only have enough worry, money, and drive, we can get everything we want and need! Or maybe this wasn’t Jesus’ point, but rather that we would be content to make serving and imitating God our life’s purpose (Matt. 6:31-33). To this idea, Paul also says, “… godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either [not even our skeletons]. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Tim. 6:6-10). Clearly, money isn’t the only thing we can love to our detriment. Paul concludes: “But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses” (1 Tim. 6:11-12).