Some of you may have seen the commercial where the little dog is pulling on the rope (tether) of a hot air balloon that has just been launched for a short ride. He is pulling with all of his might, fiercely growling while displaying great perseverance and determination to bring down the balloon.
I am reminded of my friend’s little dog who has several squeaky toys. As part of his playtime, he will furiously shake his stuffed Easter bunny and pull on it with his teeth. He acts like a predator destroying his prey. Sometimes some of the stuffing comes out of the toy.
Rope-tugging and shaking stuffed toys bring great benefit to our four-legged friends: exercise, strengthening the teeth, satisfying their animal instincts, and more.
On the other hand, this same type of behavior by a person or group of persons comes about when they become highly aggravated or dissatisfied with a situation that they feel helpless to change; or they expected different results but were left with “nothing has changed” results.
Picture a scene where people break windows, deface and destroy buildings, or throw bottles. Or they cause harm to others, name call, use four-letter words, and participate in other illegal actions. These behaviors are products of frustration, anger, disappointment, and fear. The sad conclusion to this is the creation of a “no-win” situation.
There are two parts to this state-of-affairs: Part 1 is the cause, and Part 2 is the solution.
Part 1 – Cause
Putting your trust in tangible things or other people, especially those in high-level positions, can be shakier than an earthquake. No matter how admirable their intentions, like all of us, they are imperfect. I am not referring to physical traits or appearance. It is a serious waste of time to criticize physical imperfections. What I am speaking of are the flaws that guide our thinking.
If you ever played a game of darts, you know the ultimate aim of winning is to hit the center bulls-eye. A dartboard is designed with a numbering system that encourages accuracy. The more accurate the player, the more points he or she earns. When we make decisions, we should always aim for the bulls-eye. Try counting the number of times we miss the mark for a variety of reasons.
It is very unwise to build the foundation of your life journey on another person, whether it be a leader, a system, spouse, family member, or best friend. We are all subject to the same frailties, weaknesses, and flaws.
Part 2 – Solution
As humans, we want to put our trust in something firm and constant. This becomes a rather challenging desire because, occasionally, there is a hiccup. A hiccup is how we might view an interruption, malfunction, change, or error. Mankind is frustrated by the world hiccups that we feel helpless to change. Like the dog who shakes and tears at his stuffed play toy, we often return to our early childhood behavior when we feel powerless to fix the bad stuff.
Freedom from frustration is a gift to enjoy when we have faith and believe that no matter what the outcome of a seemingly unchangeable situation, God is sovereign with thoughts and ways so much higher than ours. (Isaiah 55:9) When extreme disappointment slaps us in the face, we do not have to rip, tear, or destroy.
Things that seem unchangeable are only unchangeable in man’s perception. When our spiritual aim is straight for the bulls-eye, nothing is impossible with God!