I’ve become keenly aware — since morphing over the years from Tarzan the Ape Man into a run-of-the-mill chimpanzee — that I am racked with maladies. (OK, for the record, I was never much of a Tarzan, although I remember a time when I could read the pounds on our bathroom scale without interference from an over-achieving belly.)
Maladies include aches and pains in my knees and shoulders for example, fatigue, short-term memory loss and the dreaded “man-itis,” a condition which I share with hundreds of millions of my gender, in which we attempt to solve really big, deeply annoying problems — all of the problems, all of the time, without ever actually solving them.
Our friends Linda and Terry invited Mary Beth and me to supper at their home recently. They also had invited Father Joe Herzing, our pastor. The food was fantastic, conversation was lively and the laughter plentiful. At one point, Father Joe and I were making small talk. “How are things going?” he asked.
“To be honest,” I replied, “I’m struggling a bit. I’ve been fretting over things like attacks on our religious freedom and the way the world seems to be spinning out of control.”
Father Joe just looked at me without comment. He was smiling like the Mona Lisa — more with his eyes than his mouth.
Too big to fret over
After a number of uncomfortable seconds, during which he refused to take his eyes off me and I silently cursed the scourge of “man-itis,” I acknowledged that perhaps something that big didn’t call for fretting.
He didn’t respond, he didn’t blink, still wearing the little smile.
“I suppose I should be lifting those concerns to someone who can actually do something about it,” I offered slowly, with a crooked smile of my own. Father Joe raised an eyebrow. I managed to change the topic.
I know to the depth of my being that God is the creator of everything, everywhere — beyond time, beyond all that we see and don’t see, beyond everything we know and don’t know. I profess Jesus Christ as my savior, and I am convinced that he loves me and every other foolish sinner like me, because his DNA is love. I speak boldly of my absolute trust in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, yet I still find myself rushing to take over the jobs of all three, as if things might be handled a bit better via my wisdom and deft touch.
Good stewards, forces and movements that oppose Christian beliefs are indeed striving to impact our religious freedom. But they can’t touch our faith unless we let go of it. I tend to place a lot of blame for the current culture on the mainstream media (TV, movies and music), but it can’t do a thing to us if we simply turn it off.
Plenty of folks in our local and national governments are not shy about striving to remove faith altogether from public discourse. Does that mean it really shouldn’t be there?
I can’t fix any of this stuff. I’m pretty sure you can’t either, but I know someone — and you know someone — who can. Let’s talk to him frequently about the world we live in; and while we’re doing it, let’s see if we can’t sprinkle a little of his DNA around so others can start talking to him, too.