Learning and growing

As time has gone on, and I’ve grown older, but not always the wiser, I find myself observing the changes in the world around me with an ever increasing dismay and …. anger.
It is this anger I have been contemplating the past couple of days. While I do not consider myself a political person, I do get deeply passionate about issues, especially during election years, and this past election was no different. Totally disgusted with some of my fellow Americans at their seemingly pathetic choice for our country’s leadership, I wanted to both run away and become an activist at the same time.

There is a lot wrong with the world and the way things are going, but the real problem is that the intense anger and frustration I experienced was becoming a bitterness and even hatred (or at least intense dislike and disdain) for those who saw things differently than myself. It had become a matter of ‘us versus them’, and that was referring to my fellow Americans! We are all supposed to be in this together, but social networking sites, for one,  were full of the vitriol (on both sides) that I found myself taking part in, although I tried to stay above the fray, but kept forgetting the enemy is not my own countrymen.

By the time the elections were over, I didn’t even want to watch the news, since it only angered me more, until I got to the point I just caved and told God “I am so tired of being angry and hateful.”… Yes, anger and hatred is a very heavy burden to bear, a burden we were never designed to carry, and becomes heavier with each and every day. As a conservative Christian, I know this kind of hatred for anyone is not right, nor am I to subscribe to beliefs that many liberals hold fast. This left me with the perplexing question of what to do with these intense feelings of helplessness and frustration in watching the country I love falling apart and ruthlessly being destroyed by those who (in my view) did not love this nation, but were on their own self-important power trips.

 I tried looking for answers in my Bible, also searching for a renewed hunger for God (yes, I was mad at Him, too, although it took me a long time to get past the denial). At first, I was reading just bits and pieces of it, hoping for that spark that would ignite into a full blown inferno for God, but my efforts were rewarded with white pages with black words staring back at me, and no excitement or enthusiasm stirring in me.

But God … God is faithful, and was there to start me on a new segment of my journey with Him with a lesson … a very important lesson … one I probably should have learned a long time ago, but maybe was not ready for it yet … with a book.

Written by a pilot, Dale Black, only 160 pages long, ‘Flight to Heaven’ was the tool that God used to basically get my attention and stir up that hunger within me. Intrigued by the title, I downloaded a sample onto my tablet and when I got to the end of the sample, immediately bought the whole thing and had the book finished by the time I went to sleep that night. It was an eye opener…

In closing this post, I will just add that some of the experiences Dale recants in his book were similar to my own, even though I’ve never flown a plane, let alone died in a crash, went to Heaven, and then came back. While I have never known many of the challenges he faced in coming back, what I did have in common with him and could all-too-well relate to was his faith battle, questions, and his intense disappointment with God when He didn’t answer prayer the way we thought he should. There were even some answers buried in the depths of that book that helped me to see some things about myself, others and God. And so, the learning and growing continues … more tomorrow.