Wednesday, May 09, 2012


If you didn't already know, I live in North Carolina.  Last night during the primaries, Amendment One was passed.  If you don't know what Amendment One is, you can find it here.

Now, since this is not nor will it ever be a political blog, I am not going to discuss my opinions on Amendment One or how I voted.  That's not the point - because, honestly, my opinions really don't matter.  Amendment One passed and now, regardless of how you voted or what you believe, it's up to us to deal with the myriad results.

However, the passing of this amendment has caused a lot of people, including some very close to me, to become quite upset.  They've got a wild hair.  They're frothed up.  They're kerfluffled.  And that's a feeling I'm very familiar with, and about which God continues to work with me every day.

Being kerfluffled isn't fun.  It's kind of awful.  It's like flapping your arms around in the deep end of a swimming pool when you're trying to get to the other side.  It's posturing and pontificating and wailing and doing everything but what you should be doing in the situation.  Doesn't matter why, or what it's about - your relationships, your work, your ministry, your friends, your family, your state, your country, or even the world and everyone in it - ultimately, being kerfluffled in and of itself does absolutely nothing except make you look silly.

Bottom line: being kerfluffled is getting over-the-top upset about something you have absolutely no control over and expecting that to make some sort of difference.  It won't.  Trust me.  I do it a lot.  And I've spent weeks and months and years flapping my arms around at God wailing and frothing at the mouth while He's been watching me with a divine raised eyebrow waiting for me to tire myself out like a toddler and then just go take a nap and let Him do the work He's been wanting to do all along.

So then, what can we do?  What happens when things aren't working out the way we want or what God told us seems impossible or nothing is going according to plan? Well, here's a bit of what my Lord has been teaching me, if you're interested.  (Keep in mind, God lovingly but firmly beats these into me nearly every waking moment, so I'm telling myself all this just as much, and probably more, as anyone else.)

1. Pray. I could and probably will write a whole blog post (or 100) on just this.  Pray.  We often say, "All we can do now is pray," but prayer is actually the most powerful thing we can do.  It is harnessing the divine power of God, the supreme privilege of doing that which has been given to us as Christians when we pray faithfully and believe our prayers have meaning. And yet we so often overlook it, thinking we can handle things ourselves.  Go to the power source first - it's right there!

"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people." -Ephesians 6:18

2. Calm down and trust God.  Quit. Just stop.  No, seriously - sit down and be quiet.  Stop being indignant and angry and riled up.  Tame that wild hair.  You are not a martyr.  You are not the Only Person Who Can Fix It.  In fact, you can't fix it at all - only God can.  Things will go a lot faster if you just let Him.  Stop looking at the problem and start looking at The Solution.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." -Romans 15:13

3. Be an example of Christ.  No one is going to listen to you if you are acting unloving, belligerent, defensive, and immature.  Do you reward a child who is throwing a temper tantrum?  The way to surprise people and to do God's work is and will always be to be an example of Christ.  That means being sacrificial, giving people the benefit of the doubt, and loving unconditionally.  It's really hard - believe me, I know.  But it's what God commands us to do.  What's the alternative?

"But Jesus called them unto him, and said, 'Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.  But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.'" -Matthew 20:25-28

4. Don't give up.  "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." -Galatians 6:9, emphasis mine - I couldn't have said it better.

Stop being kerfluffled.  Calm down, pray, trust God, and don't give up - in whatever situation you are facing.  Also, know that you're not alone - with God's help, I am endeavoring to do the very same.