This weekend’s Rants address a subject on which I am reasonably experienced as a man, husband and a father.
By most outward, worldly appearances, I fit the definition of a “good guy”. After all, my Bride and I have raised Birth, Foster and Adopted children, I have taken on the fight against sexual violence and abortion at a national level, embedded media teams into Afghanistan and Iraq and I donate substantial amounts of time to military and Gold Star Family missions. Heck, my LinkedIn Profile page even tells me I am an “All-Star”.
But I know better. I wish I could tell you that at 64-years young I have it pretty much all figured out. The truth is that I do not and I am not always a “good guy”. I am often obtuse, prideful, too quick to anger, I fail and disappoint and I am in desperate need of God’s Grace and forgiveness at least once or twice an hour.
You see, I struggle more often than I would prefer to choose what I know to be the emotionally and spiritualy healthier choice. Perhaps you do too?
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,
Come’on, I know you know it deep down inside… but when is the last time you said it out loud so others would hear you?
Never has it been more obvious with the current news cycle of sexual violence in Hollywood and in the halls of power that, as a gender, we are guilty of some really bad and soul-destroying behavior.
Yes, I know you and I are not Harvey Weinstein. We don’t likely commit that kind of violence. But if certain Hollywood “A-Listers” are guilty of turning a blind-eye in order to protect their borrowed power, how many times have you or I done the same perhaps? How often are we guilty of the sin of omission (not commission) when we are with friends, at the office or simply by ourselves? And how many of us are willing to confront and confess our own weakness and temptation?
Like the old Cherokee Grandfather, perhaps we often feed the wrong wolf.
In the early 90’s a heavy-metal Christian rock band took the national music scene by storm. Stryper (whose name was taken from Isaiah 53:5 “by his stripes, we are healed”) was all the rage in youth groups and now older 60-somethings like me who to this day love our prog rock. They also severely disrupted a good many church “elders” as they used heavy metal music to share the Gospel of forgiveness and redemption.
WATCH HERE: Annie Lobert (wife of one of Stryper’s Oz Fox) tells her story in the “Little girl lost”. Failed and abused by the men in her life, she prostituted herself and became addicted… as much to the desire for revenge as to the cocaine.
She is no longer lost and addicted to her own power. Annie is a redemption story gone full circle. In Grace, she stopped feeding the dark wolf that had nearly destroyed her. Yes, it is an extreme story… but perhaps not as much as you might think.
A Gold Star Dad whose Fallen Hero son was killed in Iraq in 2005 must decide every day which wolf he will feed.
God-in-Heaven, what do you do with the loss and the pain? I can’t imagine it. Can you?
It happened to a friend of mine in 2005. His name is George… Gold Star Dad, George Lutz. Suddenly and forever, George’s son, Cpl. George “Tony” A. Lutz II was a Fallen Hero in The War on Terror.
In the midst of his grief and pain, George made a choice as to which wolf he would feed. No less grief-stricken, he took action. The result of that choice now flies over my house, 21 State Houses all across the country… and maybe over your house. George’s gift to us all is The Honor and Remember flag which has become the national sybol of recognition of all those, who when called upon have made the supreme sacrifice.
Heart, soul and action. That’s George’s way. It’s our way. Men and women choosing to try to feed the right wolf… not always perfectly but doing our best every day.
WATCH HERE: My friend, George has a very personal message to share with you today. Take a few moments to be encouraged and motivated by this humble yet powerful man and his mission to Honor and Remember.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I leave you this weekend with something a little lighter and easier – a celebration of another kind of manliness that I trust will leave a smile on your face – Dancing with the Stars of a different kind with the very special “Stars” in some of our lives – our precious daughters.
Knowledge is power and action multiplies that power.
Stay informed, consider what you have learned especially when it challenges your current view. Then you might want to set aside what any “talking heads” say, consider what common sense tells you and then by all take action.