Friday, September 17, 2010

The Green-Eyed Monster

One of my favorite places to go is Disney World.  Yes, I’m still a big kid at heart.  I am thoroughly entertained when I’m there.  I love the shows, the rides, and the food, just everything about it.  There’s also a lot of sentimental value attached to Disney World for me and my sister, Robbie Lee.  We’ve been going there since we were kids.  On our first visit there was just the Magic Kingdom and I was overwhelmed then.  Now there’s Epcot, Animal Kingdom and MGM Studios.  It’s mind boggling, but I do it all.  
On one trip when Robbie and I were much younger, we stayed in Fort Wilderness, a Disney campground.  We stayed in a fully furnished trailer that was more like a small apartment.  We thought we were big shots.  It was great.  We’d go out to the parks and stay all day and all night and come home dragging our behinds to our home away from home. We’d stop at the camp store on the grounds and get snacks, drinks and whole dinners.  They had everything.  
One night we came home rather late to the trailer, exhausted from our daily adventures of riding Space Mountain and chasing Mickey around for photographs.  We stopped and got some chicken, baked beans, cole slaw and ice tea and carried it all back to our trailer.  We were tired and had our arms filled with bags as we struggled to unlock the trailer door.  Luckily we had left the outside light on so we could see how to get in.  Suddenly, Robbie tapped me on the shoulder and pointed up near the outside light.  “What in the world is that?” she whispered, looking like she’d seen a monster.  I stopped fiddling with the lock long enough to look up and I nearly dropped everything right there.  It was the ugliest, biggest, scariest looking green bug I had ever seen.  I’d never seen anything like it.  “We have to make sure we get inside quickly and slam the door behind us so that green-eyed monster doesn’t get inside our trailer,” I say decisively.  “Uh-huh,” said Robbie Lee, never taking her eyes off the hideous bug. 
I finally got the door unlocked.  “Now when I count to three, I’ll throw open the door and we’ll run inside as fast as we can.  You slam the door as soon as you get inside,” I instructed Robbie.  “Uh-huh,” said Robbie Lee.  “One, two, THREE!”  I flung open the door and we jumped inside, with both of us screaming and pushing each other through the door.  Slam!  Robbie Lee pushed the door closed behind us.  “Looks like we made it safely inside,” I said, checking all around to make sure there was no bug monster in sight.  “Uh-huh,” said Robbie Lee, her eyes searching the room.  “Come on, we’ve got lots of good food.  Let’s make a spread and eat.  I’m starving,” I said, laying out the chicken and beans.  
Robbie Lee finally came away from the door and we switched our focus to eating.  “I know,” Robbie Lee suggested, “let’s pull out the sofa bed and put in a good movie and eat our food there.  It’ll be like a picnic, only inside.”  Robbie Lee seemed proud of this suggestion and so I agreed.  We pulled out the sofa bed, threw blankets all over it and put in a movie.  We grabbed our plates of chicken, beans, slaw and sodas and crawled onto the bed like it was a big blanket spread out in a park.  We were really enjoying ourselves, eating, watching the movie and talking about all we had done that day.  Just then, I happened to look up above me and I could not believe my eyes.  It was the green-eyed monster bug just above my head.  He had gotten in after all and had been watching us all along.  Suddenly, he swooped down toward us and what happened next was unbelievable.  We threw our plates of chicken, slaw and beans up in the air and started screaming for our lives.  We were throwing pillows, cans, bottles, food and anything we could get our hands on to kill the bug monster.  He just kept diving at us like he had planned to torture us all along.  We grabbed pots and put them over our heads to protect ourselves from this creature from hell.  Finally, Robbie Lee got mad and grabbed a broom and started sweeping him toward the door, screaming with every swing.  I flung open the front door and she pushed him outside.  We slammed the door shut and collapsed on the floor.  What a nightmare.  
After we regained our composure we started to look around the room.  “Oh my!” I sighed.  “Look at this mess.”  There was chicken everywhere.  There was slaw and beans stuck to everything in sight, even on the ceiling.  The bed sheets were covered with beans and soda.  It was something like I’d never seen before.  We spent the rest of the night picking up food and scrubbing down the walls, not the night we were hoping for.  We both slept with our eyes open all night, just in case the bug monster figured out how to open the front door.  
Sometimes there are things in our past that we think we’ve dealt with, but we haven’t, like unforgiveness.  Somewhere along the way someone did or said something that we haven’t been able to forgive, even though we say we have.  Only when someone brings it up do we realize we  haven’t forgiven them at all.  Instead, we’ve allowed it to grow into a monster that pursues us throughout our life until we finally have to have a show down.  We have to decide to get rid of it once and for all or to let it attack us over and over again until it destroys us.  We just can’t seem to let go of it.  We enjoy carrying it around.  We defend ourselves and point out that it’s the other person’s fault that we are the way we are.  I’m not saying forgiveness is easy.  Sometimes the things we have to forgive are terrible trespasses.  Yet the pain of carrying around the bitterness is even worst.  The person you can’t forgive is probably walking around happy and living their lives.  You’re the one that’s miserable and suffering painful attacks every time someone mentions their name.  
This was really brought home to me recently by a group of young men and women, as well as children, from Uganda, Africa. Each of them had formerly been abducted and forced to serve as  child soldiers and slaves for the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) and made to perform unspeakable crimes. Here they stood on the stage in my church, performing in a musical drama called “Restore Tour, A Child Soldier No More) a play about their terrible experiences back in Uganda. However, after their reenactment of this horrible nightmare, each one stepped up to the microphone and proclaimed their forgiveness for the men of the LRA who had been their abductors and tormentors. They claimed Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior over their lives and then danced in joy and celebration as they worshipped our God. I was moved to tears as I stood on my feet and lifted my hands to worship with them. How amazing is forgiveness and how liberating to let go of those things that were meant to destroy us. After watching these young people perform and give their testimonies, I felt ashamed of the times I’ve let petty things in my past control my future by holding them close instead of pushing them out of my life. If they could forgive these horrible events in their young lives and reach out to forgiveness, how much more should I be able to get past the comparably small issues in my own past and get on with my life. 
Colossians 3:13 tells us to forgive as the Father forgave you.  Think of one thing you need to forgive.  It may be small or it may be something that looms large over your daily life. Speak it to yourself.  Ask God to help you forgive that person(s).  Then lay it at the feet of Jesus.  Let it go.  Don’t let it pursue you in life any longer.  Then celebrate. Dance, sing or maybe even go to Disney World. Slam the door shut on that green-eyed monster and get on with your walk with Christ.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome, Polly! I was brought to tears as I read this post. Thank you for reminding us to walk in forgiveness. I am going to do just as you said and slam that door shut and go on with Jesus! Thanks so much for writing this!