Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tired, Irritated, Frustrated & Confused...

It's a Jesus Revolution Tuesday, but I have to tell you that today my heart is just not in it.  I'm tired, irritated,  frustrated and confused- and it's making it very difficult for me to write with a clear head.  So instead of trying, let me just tell you why I feel this way.

I'm tired because my dog, Conner, has once again forgotten how to sleep.  He's had me up before 4 AM three days in a row and 6 of the last 7.  I have never been one who can just go back to sleep after getting up and walking the dog, so my sleep patterns are all out of whack.  Plus, at my age I don't recover quite as quickly as I used to.  So as Madeline Kahn sings in Blazing Saddles, "I'm tired...let's face it boys, I'm pooped!"

I'm irritated with all of the ways people mangle religion with politics.  Normally I stay away from such topics, but today you get a little Carl: Uncensored.  If your faith and the teachings of Jesus (NOT the institutional church- Jesus!) influence your politics, then you have my respect.  If your political views influence the way you see Jesus- and this is FAR too common- then you need to head back to the gospels and discover the real JesusNOW!

I'm frustrated because I am writing a post for Friday that will be part of The Rally for Unity currently going on over at http://www.rachelheldevans.com/ and I just can't quite make this keyboard type the words I want to say.  I am frustrated because something I thought I was done with is not over yet and there is no good reason why.  I'm frustrated because I am not sure exactly what direction this blog should be going in.  Perhaps it's time to ditch the personal stories and move on to being more current and more spiritual on a daily basis.  Or not.  I'm just not sure if many folks from the last few years of ministry are actually reading (or actually care), and I find that frustrating.  And yes- I know that sounds whiny...

I'm confused over the reaction of many Christ-followers to the killing of Osama Bin Laden.  I know he was an awful man, responsible for horrendous actions and thousands of deaths.  But I have seen staunch pro-life friends celebrate his death, and it confuses me.  If any life is sacred, isn't every life sacred?  I'm also confused by those who seem to want to pick and choose which words of Jesus that he really meant.  For instance, if the killing of OBL is to be celebrated, then that means that the words of Jesus imploring us to turn the other cheek, love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us were only words and have no meaning in this world.  If OBL was only getting what he deserved, how then can I be sure that God's love and grace cover my sins- because I've done some pretty rotten things myself.  Maybe I should get what I deserve as well.  And if that's true- if God doesn't love all of his children with an unconditional love that we will never fully understand and cannot earn, then Jesus was a fool on a fool's errand.  And this Jesus Revolution is not worth a dang thing...

So there it is.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on these matters.  I'll attempt to be more uplifting tomorrow, but so much depends on the dog....

Because of Jesus,


  1. Anonymous5/03/2011

    I know what you mean about the whole OBL thing. When it first broke news I just didn't feel the whole jubilation thing that everyone else was feeling. The first thing that crossed my cynical mind was "Oh, that's right we're about to go into an election year, of course they apprehended him!" As an aside I would have thought the same thing be the president democrat or republican. I don't discriminate on my political cynicism.

    Then I started to think OK, now he's gone. One less evil dictator in the world but now what? I'm sure there's one just waiting in the wings that would love to take his place. I mean we got a guy who was on the way out anyway, he was on dialysis for goodness sake! You mean to tell me he didn't have a wingman in training?

    I dunno I guess I'm just as bewildered as you when it comes to the celebration of his death. I would rather celebrate the death of terrorism but unfortunately I don't think this one man's death is going to bring that about.

    - Jen K.

  2. I'm sorry you're having a tough day, Carl. I've been very saddened, too, over the reactions I've seen from some Christians regarding OBL. As a human, I struggle with wanting to see justice done. However, justice is really a worldly thing, isn't it? I know we're told God is just and merciful...but first and foremost, our God is graceful. Isn't the definition of grace getting something good even though it's not deserved? Aren't we all following Christ on this premise? Trusting His promise that despite how much we DO NOT deserve it, He'll love us anyway -- enough to die for us and welcome us in Heaven. I am in no way saying I expect to see OBL in Heaven, because I do not. However, I do think many of us will be surprised at some of our neighbors in Heaven. Because it's not up to us to decide. Thank goodness for that. So today, I've decided to simply pray for those who, for whatever reason, are grieving the loss of OBL. That they may, in their times of trouble and hurt, somehow be graced by the presence of a God who loves them anyway.

  3. Bob and Teresa, thank you so much for the reminders that this struggle is so much bigger than me. Wise words from both of you. I am guessing you guys had a tremendous youth pastor... :) Love you both!

  4. Not had.....HAVE a tremendous youth pastor. :) Even though I'm 30 now, you're still much older and so I still consider myself a youth. LOL

  5. Despite your rampant ageism, Teresa, I have to admit it is a job I am thrilled to hang on to. And proud of you for using your actual age, too! :)

  6. @mizweatherby5/03/2011

    Carl, thanks for being honest. I have been struggling with some things myself, lately. I pray that you get the answers, relief, and sleep you need.

  7. Our frustrations seem to ride parallel trails. I go off an a rant tomorrow about "The Gelding of the Christian Man".

  8. Christie, the struggle is a part of following Jesus, so I just seek to embrace it! Thanks so much for the prayers.

  9. Both Weatherby's in one day- such an honor! I look forward to your rant, Kevin!

  10. First, remember to take one day at a time! :-) Second, i feel your confusion as well; even briefly discussed it with Stacy last night. Third, i agree that politics influencing how we view Jesus is bad; but i'm careful to add that seeing politics as a way to spread the faith is another extreme. There's a balance there. :-)

  11. I stuggle, big time, with the OBL thing. Some of the Christians on my news feeds have been so harsh in condemning everything about the killing of OBL that I have found it, as the wife of a Serviceman, bordering on hurtful.
    I do not celebrate a life lost to what is most likely an eternity in hell. And I have, with my dh, prayed ferverently for terrorists and Osama by name, that he would come to know Jesus and rock the radical Muslim world. But I also sent my dh to fight in defence of those who might be killed. I don't believe in revenge. I do believe in defense. And I believe in recognizing a small victory (recognizing, not dancing in the streets) in a war that we took on in defence.
    Some Christians have condemned the celebrations to the point of condemning every soldier, police officer or other who had taken a life to save another. We are not asked in our daily lives to make a choice to live with taking one persons life so that we may save an innocent, or watching that innocent die knowing we could have saved them. But some people do face that choice. And some of those people, they love Jesus too. IT's not so black and white.

    Those are my thoughts, they are jumbled and only my thoughts, not Gospel truth. This past week has been a crazy rollercoaster for a Christian military family.

  12. In my opinion, the difference between being pro-life for an innocent baby and being pro-life for a terrorist is the fact that Osama was making the choices he made. That's the difference. Sure life is sacred but when one man is instrumental in killing of thousands unprovoked, he has given up the right to his own life. The jubilation is not that there is another soul in hell. The jubilation is in an evil killer no longer to kill.

    If it is so anti-Jesus to rejoice in an evil man's death, tell me what Jesus thought about the man after God's own heart? I know, I know, different time period... God says he changes not, the same yesterday, today and forever. Is our rejoicing in David killing Goliath any different from rejoicing over Osama's death? We sing songs about it. What about the children of Israel singing songs and rejoicing when Pharaoh and his army drowned?

    Seems to me, if Jesus was going to be upset at us for rejoicing in Osama being killed, he would have reprimanded David... not help him. Or Samuel for killing the king Saul was too good to kill.

    Turning the other cheek was in forgiveness from a repentant enemy. Seventy times seven to forgive. However, stopping an evil man from harming innocent people is VERY Biblical. I just completely disagree with you on this post.

  13. Thank you all for your input and your opinions. I do not seek to condemn anyone, I simply raise questions. I think it is important that we struggle with these issues.


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