Soul wrestling

RestlessFor the past hour or so, I have sat quietly staring at the television over the top of my laptop screen.  My mind pin-balling.  My soul wrestling.  Trying to put a finger on why my heart is restless.

It probably has something to do with eating dinner at Taco Bell tonight, but there is more.  Much more.

The State of the Union Address.  American Sniper.  Domestic abuse.  Road rage.  Drunk driving.  Sex trafficking.  Illegal immigration.  LGBTQ.  Drug abuse.  The Economy.  Health care reform.  Racism.  ISIS.  Pornography.  Gitmo.  Kidnapped school girls.  Child suicides.  Homeland terrorism.  Welfare.  Poverty.  Death penalty.  Gun control.  Ebola.  STAAR tests.

Deflategate.

Mention one of these (or any one of dozens of others), and you probably won’t get just an opinion.  You could likely get passion.  And an earful of one-sided, I’m-right-and-you’re-stupid pulpiteering.

We live in such a convoluted, broken world.  Thanks to technology, we are no longer shielded from the craziness.  We are touched deeply by reality.  Sometimes personally.  Always vicariously.

I watch as friendships erode over political opinions.  I grew up in one of the most patriotic and military-minded cities in America.  I played high school football with children of illegal immigrants.  Some of my best friends are gun enthusiasts.  I will never own one.  I have counseled victims of domestic abuse all of my adult life.

My friends, family, and ministry have been deeply impacted the reality of homosexuality.  I have held hungry children on my lap and tried to encourage families who had lost everything.  I have listened to the pain of parents who have lost their children to drunk drivers.

I have walked with people whose lives have been ravaged by drug and alcohol abuse.  At an early age, I was challenged to walk closely with the poor, the forgotten, and the less fortunate.  I have always had friends who were on welfare.

My kids spent five years as the white minority in a San Diego public elementary school.  It helped create the lens through which I view the world.  I have had deep, trust-filled relationships with Mexican, Asian, and African-Americans…  close enough that I could ask them to help me understand the prejudice they experience.  They did and I did my best to listen carefully and act on what I learned.

There are no easy answers.  No political party or agenda has a cure for sin.  No gun, police force, or military regime can protect us from self-centeredness.  Violence solves nothing.  Racism cannot self-identify.  No drink or pill can make the pain go away.  Education cannot transform our hearts.  Too much money corrupts.  Not enough money robs dignity.  Hopelessness leads to death.

The only thing that can cast out fear is love.  You either believe that or you don’t.

God is love.  Jesus was God with skin on.

When are we going to start talking like him…acting like him…treating others like he did…living with his priorities…believing that his ways are better than our ways?

Confused?  Read Matthew 5-7.

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3 thoughts on “Soul wrestling

  1. Very well-written words. Sorry your heart is restless but all of the things listed are very unnerving and the tribulation will get worse. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I don’t understand the I’m right and you’re wrong and stupid thinking. Everyone has a right to their opinion and everyone should listen to differing opinions and not be so hard fast in their thinking, unless you are totally right with the Lord… hmmmm, are we? So what makes one right and the other wrong…

    I have been doing a lot of personal development and listening to Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill and I am at the chapters where he talks about how business and the government were acting … prior to the Great Depression… and it all sounds so familiar… history is repeating itself in the US and everyone is so self righteous and self centered that they don’t see it.

    I’m to a point that I don’t listen to the news any longer, I know that I shouldn’t keep my head in the sand, but I can’t handle the negativity that the media produces and people arguing back and forth and hurting each other.

    So I’m totally off topic, but this was a great post Mike.. and thought provoking.. as usual. 🙂

    On a lighter note… “it was a catch”

  3. This post was great preparation for the weekend sermon. Isn’t it amazing what happens when we are in the frame of mind to go “all in” and trust God enough to consistently choose to love. The fear doesn’t seem to diminish until we put love into action (just like you said in your sermon Sunday.)

    Thanks for your faithfulness to proclaim God’s word and your courage to live it.

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