Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Monsters Are Real

Monsters Are Real

One night my son came to talk to me. I was smoking my pipe and working on a model. It was late, but his question led me to put aside the model car and talk to him. He asked, "Daddy, are monsters real?" I thought about his question for awhile, about what monsters mean to a little boy. Do the monsters in our dreams express the bad things in our lives that we have to face everyday?

When I was a graduate student I took lessons in Kenpo karate because I needed some exercise. A father brought his twelve year old son for lessons. He had a good reason. Three bullies stopped his son at the beginning of his paper route. They took his papers out of his newspaper bag everyday and threw them randomly all about. I taught him Kenpo and he worked hard. Finally he was ready. The three bullies appeared as usual and the boy followed my instructions. He took off his news paper bag and said, "I don't want to hurt you." They laughed at him. He placed his left hand on the leaders left shoulder and delivered a rams head punch to his stomach. The leader fell to the ground gasping for air. The leader wasn't hurt; he just got the wind knocked out of him. The boy made his point and the three bullies never bothered him again. His bullies were monsters in his eyes, and he was afraid of them. After he dealt with them, he wasn't afraid anymore, but they were afraid of him.

I am not suggesting that physical violence is the best way to deal with our monsters. In fact, I believe it is seldom necessary. There are times when it may save our lives, or when it is the last resort. Many times the confidence that I gained from learning Kenpo karate was enough to send a bully looking for some one else, a person that is afraid of bullies. We need to stand up to our monsters and deal with them, or we will always live with fear. Words are powerful. Words can often solve our problems with our monsters.

Some situations don't allow us to deal with our monsters. That doesn't mean that we have to fear them. They may be people close to us who are unwilling to deal with their stuff. They are passive aggressive, and they avoid any kind of conflict, even when things may be resolved. We learn to let go and let live in those situations. Those situations may hurt a lot and it may be hard to let go of our pain.

After a few moments, I answered my son, "Yes, monsters are real, but Jesus is bigger than our monsters and he can deal with them." My son smiled after we prayed, and went to bed. I wondered what about the monsters he was facing.
He is grown up now, and he is very good at dealing with his monsters.

No comments: