When disappointment comes-this time
“I have told you this, so that you might have peace in your hearts because of me. While you are in the world, you will have to suffer. But cheer up! I have defeated the world.” John 16:33 (CEV)
By Bobby R. Henry, Sr.
When we look at the past few months in perspective of the humiliation, angst, and downright guttural disrespect that Donald J. Trump has dished out to the world due to his deep-rooted distain for non-white people and malfeasance as a disillusion leader and because of our fake display of unity, we have gotten just what we deserve.
I will use this example to illustrate what I mean as it relates to Black people and the National Football League and its players and owners in general – but- Black players in particular. How is it that you join in a protest halfway? Why sit in the locker room and not come out? It’s like being half pregnant; there is no such thing. For you, members of the NFL, either you’re in or you’re not. A breakfast meal of eggs and bacon says that the chicken was involved; however, the hog was committed. Therefore, I must ask: are you hogs or chickens?
Politicians/owners and Their Bedfellows/players
All too often, politicians/owners forget about the communities which they serve and get caught up in THE GAME. This is especially easy to do when political bedfellows are creeping nearby. In some cases, the bedfellows are called pro athletes who make billions of dollars for their owners in exchange for favors. In other cases, they are called longtime friends who see themselves as the puppet masters – lurking behind the scenes and pulling all the strings. In the Black community, these bedfellows rarely live in the communities that they were bought from and rarely do they give back in a worthwhile percent in vital services, projects and programs.
When you allow undesirables to share your bed, it becomes tainted. You are subject to become infected with many of the political ills that have damaged our leaders.
How many times have you said to yourself, “I’m not going to allow myself or anybody else to lead me to believe that things are going to get better?” And just when they tell you or you start to believe that, some more bad news pops up like dandruff on a black suit.
You might find yourself, I know I do at times, struggling just to maintain some semblance of sanity. Even the best of us can get worn down to the point of wanting to throw in the towel.
I read a book once by H. Beecher Hicks, Jr. It’s a brilliant book that offers encouragement for pastors who are going through something. The book is entitled “Preaching Through a Storm.”
Now if the Preachers can overcome the trials and manipulations that I’m sure are pervasive in the ‘House of the Lord’ on regular basis, then why can’t we?
What is it that causes one to continue to fight the uphill battles using rocks and slingshots against automatic weapons and superior technology and a Trump who does not have the brains of a wooden duck?
Even if your own people deem the quest insurmountable and it’s for their own good, they set you up just to shoot you down.
Though time and time again you push hard against the stone, the more you push the deeper you find your feet entrenched in the muck and grime like trying to swim in peanut butter.
At some point you surmise that these disappointments aren’t disappointments at all; they are as it is said, “it is what it is”..
[Jeremiah Mourns for His People] I’m burdened with sorrow and feel like giving up. Jeremiah 8:18 (CEV)
Accepting the totality of the experience starts to push you towards finding strength. This strength begins to bond as THE relationship grows.
The pain and agony, because you are learning and growing in THE relationship, morphs into attitudes of acceptance. You begin to understand that your understanding is useless.
“Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.” Proverbs 3:5 (Amplified Bible)
There is something about THE relationship that can cause one to slide down a sliding board made with razorblades into a pool of alcohol just to get to the other side of understanding and accepting.
I’m not talking about just an old, ordinary, mundane relationship. I’m speaking of one that causes spiritual growth from experiencing the pains, pleasures and unpredictable, mind blowing, unexplainable, yet comforting presence of relief.
The next time, before a disappointment arises, be proactive. I would suggest that you begin to accept that you are where you are and it’s where you are supposed to be, no matter what is happening all around you. “If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.” Psalms 139:8 (KJB)
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can; And wisdom to know the difference.”
The Serenity Prayer is the common name for an originally untitled prayer by the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr.