27 February 2012

Lessons on Taming the Dragon

When I was at university, homestarrunner.com was super popular. My favorite character was StrongBad, a Mexican wrestler, complete with face mask, no shirt, and boxing gloves.

Once a week he would send an email . . . often they were completely pointless. But sometimes they spurred our creative juices (oh how I miss the Colleger Girl Squad). And then, there was my favorite: Trogdor, the Burninator.

Trogdor was a dragon.

And being a dragon, he breathed fire, hence the burninating. There was no thatch-roofed village safe from the fierce fiery flames of Trogdor.

You know . . . I have my very own Trogdor. He lives in a cage deep inside.  Sometimes he hibernates or plays quietly within the confines of his tiny cell.  Other times, he grows restless and antsy and begins huffing and puffing his fire. But, as we all know, smoke rises, and starts looking for a way out.

We all have a fall-back sin . . . you know the one that's always there . . . the one you try to conquer, but that just keeps coming back.  The one that leaves you feeling as though you may never have the victory.  

Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.

Well, mine is Trogdor . . . except in real life, we call it Anger.  

And lately, I've been finding that my threshold is low . . . somedays, shamefully low.

But, as a disciple of Jesus, I am to be controlled by the Holy Spirit, not by my human reactions to fatigue or frustrations. 

That means, I am to be patient and kind. I am to speak with grace in my words and in my voice.

And when the Holy Spirit is guarding the keys to Trogdor's cage, those responses are possible. The problem comes when I pry the keys from Him and allow the dragon to be taunted.

At times its stress . . . or being over tired . . . or not getting enough alone time during a week . . . or too much interpersonal conflict . . . or simply the onset of hot season.

Truth is, the past few weeks, I've felt Trogdor growing inside . . . ready to burninate all of Galmi.  

You know, in his letter to the Churches in Galatia, the Apostle Paul listed out a bunch of the 'desires of the flesh' that we are to avoid.  All those 'immoral' Ten-Commandmentsy sins . . . but there it is, smack in the middle:
Now, I don't know how it's printed in your Bible . . . but when I read that cluster of verses, mine is bold and red and in all caps.  It screams at me.

It screams loud . . . because just after it, the page whispers to me how I'm supposed to be acting: with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control.  

So how does one slay the inner Trogdor?  Well, Paul gave some good advice to the Colossians: Put aside anger, wrath, and malice . . . and put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patiences . . . and be thankful.

Guess it's a good thing we're promised that we can't do the impossible in our own strength.


Anne Dye said...

Amen. Needed to hear that, again.

mb said...

Very well said, Debs.  And thanks for reminding me about Strongbad.  And about Trogdor the Burninator.  I knew I liked you :]

Tulanboys- Joyce said...

Debbie thanks for sharing your stories and life. It really touched me and reminded me that sometimes we are given the great joy and encouragement to see how God is using us (or the fish and loaves of bread we offer) and sometimes we have no idea. We can take courage and trust that God through His power can work powerfully through us. May you daily receive the encouragement you need. You are doing awesome work! I will be praying for you and the dear lives you touch!
=  ) joyce

Mwilley said...

Loved the Trogdor metaphor.  Well..... I loved it as it applies to your life, not as excited to think about my own!  
Really enjoy the variety of your posts and the insights they present, Deb.
Pastor Mark

Deb. said...

Glad to know my journey is encouraging others.

Deb. said...

Boop boop boop boop boop boop boop . . . and the dragon comes in the NIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGGGHT!

Deb. said...

Thanks Joyce!

Yeah, I often feel like the loaves and fish . . . not much to offer, maybe even a little flakey and smelly . . . but when turned over to the Miracle Worker, multitudes get fed!

Deb. said...

Thanks Joyce!

Yeah, I often feel like the loaves and fish . . . not much to offer, maybe even a little flakey and smelly . . . but when turned over to the Miracle Worker, multitudes get fed!

Deb. said...

Thanks PMark!

Deb. said...

OH MY GOODNESS!!  I JUST SAW YOUR PICTURE!!  HA!  I LOVE IT!!  And I promise, when you come to visit, you can take another one just like it, only with sand dunes in the background!