I have often felt like the odd man out, the guy that sees things sideways, the goofball that cries for no reason and is hard-hearted and cold at the same time. I have felt like the kid that just couldn’t ever seem to do anything right no matter how hard I tried. I have done things I thought would be funny and someone ended up getting hurt. I have wanted to be the center of attention and then wanted everyone to leave me alone.
People liked to be around me when I was fun and making them laugh but when I was angry or sullen they wanted nothing to do with me. I brought that on myself. I was never much for being the “be angry but sin not” type of guy. I was more into being angry and flying completely off the handle and sinning lots. I used anger as an excuse to whatever I wanted to do and feeling completely justified in doing it.
When I was depressed it didn’t drive me into a circle of friends that lifted me up. It drove me into an isolated spiral that only went down. I didn’t want anyone to touch me as I fell into the pit that welcomed me with open arms. Of course, it welcomed me.
Back when I was a kid I used to set a trap back in our garden. If I didn’t put bait into it, it would just sit there for weeks. It was ready to work but not even a stupid ‘possum was going to go poking around the trap when there was a garden full of delicacies to munch on. We’d bait the trap with whatever was getting poached from the garden the most, the most popular thing on the menu.
It was always fun to go check the trap and see who took the bait. We’d get squirrels, rabbits and an occasional opossum (does anyone pronounce the “o” at the beginning of that word?). I wasn’t a very good trapper. After catching the garden invaders, I would simply open the box and let them go to come back and munch on the garden on another day. We had more than we could use and I felt like trapping was cheating.
One of the traps that I was always so willing to take the bait on was that I just didn’t belong. I believed the lie that I was a freak of nature, something completely unnatural. I even at times thought that I was a mistake that God made somehow.
I became a Christian at a very young age but that didn’t stop be from being deceived and taking the bait and falling into the trap over and over again. The trap is smelly and dark and is a place where death seems not so far away. That’s why I find it so important to fill myself with the truth. Even a dumb bunny that knows the truth about the bait in a trap will pass by the little treat at the edge of the garden and go for the abundance of good stuff smack dab in the middle of the garden.
But I’m not here to moan and groan about all the time I wasted being a dumb bunny. I’m talking about reinforcing the truth.
1 Peter 2:9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
I have never been God’s mistake. I have never been the one of a kind guy that had no place. I have never ever been a man without a purpose. I have belonged to him since that day I asked him into my heart. He has been pleading with me for years to put down my membership in the Dumb Bunny Club and to step out of the darkness and into the light where deception and lies cannot hold up and fool me anymore.
I am learning that when life gets really tough that I need to walk into more intense light. Examining my problems in the dark doesn’t ever seem to lead to a solution.
I’m thankful that God has released me from that trap over and over again. But I am even more thankful that I am finally finding my place of belonging. All of my weirdness and faults and flaws seem to make more sense now.
1 Peter 2:10 “Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.”