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<%image(20050329-aleve 2.jpg|92|92|aleve)%> I’m sure the pun has been used before, but it works for now. A trip to Lancaster, PA and the Easter holiday have kept my fingers off the keyboard, yet my mind has been buzzing with ideas. Here’s a the beginning of some mini-blogs that all seem to hit on the theme of anger. Act one (for all of you “This American Life” Fans) “Self-Help Jesus.”

Self-Help Jesus

Last Thursday I stayed at work too long and got mad. It was more than that. Angry, grumpy, enraged, dash my skipping CD player on the floor of my car mad. A dark cloud had enveloped me and was shooting me all over the place, every thought and action leading to anger, frustration, and a sense of helplessness.

Realizing that my current course was not of benefit to myself, God, or just about anybody on the planet, I turned to Jesus. My gentle, kind, and understanding Jesus, asking him to wave the wand over my gloom and make it go away. It was not unlike popping an Aleve or two when I get a bad headache.

Reflecting on my glib beckoning of Jesus to come with his powers and make me feel better, I realized that I have turned Jesus into a self-help book or medicine that I use for my own benefit alone. Hitting the wall, I felt as if I was hopeless. My frustration climaxed in the realization that my ticket out was only a cleverly disguised exploitation of God.

A long period of silence ensued . . . God broke through and called to mind a relative of a friend whose fiancee had cut off communication with him. I thought of the family who has two grandparents near death. My Step-mom who will be recovering for the next year after having cancer removed from her stomach. My wife who has been completely overwhelmed with student teaching. The list could probably go on. The bottom line is that I was completely absorbed in myself, my own thoughts, my feelings, and my reactions.

Sitting still allowed me to realize the need to offer myself to God for his use and to earnestly seek the welfare of others. I think if we start looking at ourselves we just get angry and discontent. Being that we are not God, it’s no wonder that we get so frustrated when we spend all of our time focusing on ourselves! It’s funny that true freedom and joy can be found when we really seek the best of God and of others. There’s an old song by Sheri Keaggey called “Disappear.” The chorus is, “I wish I could disappear, inside you.”

As it turns out, Jesus was able to fix me, but not in the way that I expected. My CD player on the other hand is in pretty bad shape.

Act 2
On the Margins

I’m not sure if I can do this one justice. Look for this post tommorrow.

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