Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Living in a Haze or There Ain't No Flies on Me

When I was very young, my father taught we two phrases that keep showing up in my life.  One was, "There are NO Atheist in Fox Holes," and the other was, "God makes no Junk."

The former phrase was his way of expressing his faith, and how he came by it.  He was a infantry man in World War II and a paratrooper in the Korean Conflict.  He was wounded in the later war, and the injuries and infections he received there lasted the rest of his life.  If you are interested in what is titled a "Real War Story," then one of his papers about how he was wounded fits the bill.

Anyway, he told me that everyone sees and believes in God when their lives are at stake, thus, you believe in God when you are in a Fox Hole.  I have never really paid attention to the implications of that simple statement until recently, when my own life has gotten difficult beyond belief. In fact, the difficulty of my life did drive me toward God, yet the real impact of this statement has become clear. The bible tells me that even the Devil believes in God. (James 2:19) It is more that belief that he wants. Don't get me wrong, it is Good that I was brought to God by my life's difficulty, but faith that results in actions is what God really wants, and that is proving to be difficult.  That , I finally believe, is the real meaning of what my father told me so log ago about.  Finding God in the difficult times is God. Living for God, however is the goal. (I talk about how this lesson is becoming part of my life in
Dark Well of Despair - Light of Hope.)

Photo with Permission by GoodJobNotes.com
That, however, is not the phrase that is impacting my life right now. The one that I am having issues with is "God does not Make Trash."  I have recently been brought face to face with the damage my life has caused to others, and the damage it might yet cause.  My self image has suffered in the learning, and suffers yet in the living of a life that surly feels more like garbage every day than it does like a life of value.  I wake with dread of what error I have arranged in someones else's life, and I go to sleep with a prayer that tomorrow will not be the day that some new issue arrives.  I can scarcely believe that I can even move about and the fear is solid and tangible.

Yet, each day, I, along with other teachers, family members of my own, and other families, get to interact with children, teens and adults, and see their lives change before our very eyes.

So, I live within a contradiction, created by the world my brain injury tells me I am living in, and the world that I actually live in verse the world of my mission.

I am a teacher.  That is what I do.  I teach Sunday School; I teach Karate; I teach.  There are few times where the world that my injury has created does not overwhelm me, and teaching is the strongest and longest lasting of those places and times.  I don't have to remind myself of my mission for the Lord when I am teaching.  I don't even have to think about it.  I just interact and teach.  Simple.  When I am closest to the Lord, there are no flies on me.

However, what about the other times.  

Like, when my insurance company sues me because they think I am working, not knowing or caring that I spend 12 hours in a dark room, talking myself into going out and helping others. They finally got the message, thanks be to God, but for 4 years, that was all I could think of when I was not teaching.

Like when the IRS decided I was a thief, only to find out I was poor, honest and stupid, when it comes to money. So they gave us a plan to find our way out.

Like when one of my wife's business locations suddenly does not have enough cash flow to survive, and the Land Lord would not take care of their end of the business arrangement, throwing us into a 12 month cycle of doubt.

Like when clients decide that my wife is evil, one of them going so far as relating us to "hell," no knowing or caring how much she has given them for the sake of their kids.  They all think it is me.  They all thank me, and are totally unaware that it is my Wife and Daughter who make it happen.   I just teach.  

For me, all this creates huge doubt and self loathing.  So large, just standing is hard.  Yet, when I focus on my gift, and my wife's gift, and my daughter's gift, and on the good we have done and are doing, I don't even know that I have difficulty standing. In fact, I help others stand.

Then there is the incredible people that surround our mission.  They help others as if they too were born to it.  We have surrounded ourselves with self actuating talent and gifted people who make things happen.  Don't know how that happened.  Just another sign of who really is the giver of gifts I suppose.  God is everywhere. I have begun to trust others again, something I assumed was lost forever.

So yes, I live in a haze, but God makes NO garbage, and their ain't no flies on me.

It is all something to learn from.  And why should I learn when learning is so hard for me?  Because it is not about me.  It is about them.  And it is about them, because it is about God, and God is all about them.

TBI is a dark cloud hanging over my life, but I am finally find a way through the fog.

Thanks be to God.

1 comment:

  1. My mom and dad bought me a poster to hang in my room when I was young. A cartoonish drawing of an old grey mare with a smile on her face and a straw hat on her head made me chuckle when I looked at it. Under the picture was "God don't make junk," just like what your father said to you. My parents told me that if I ever put myself down, I was putting down something that the Perfect Creator made, and in fact, putting Him down. That really made me remember to always thank Him for making me and I wanted to be the best I could be. Thanks, Paul and Ann Ain't no flies on...YOU! Katie-Sue