Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Cancel Culture and King Crab Legs


According to Wikipedia, Cancel culture or call-out culture is a modern form of ostracism in which they thrust someone out of social or professional circles – whether it be on-line, on social media, or in person. 

I grew up in a simpler time. When something was broken, we fixed it, we didn’t throw it away. They taught us to look for the good in people, not the bad - even in those who hurt us. We found peace in an imperfect world by adjusting our expectations to reali. We understood that the world was not created for our pleasure. It is not about us and our satisfaction.

Today, we see statues of great men and women removed from their place of honor because of their association with an unjust cause or because of a flaw in their character. It doesn’t matter if most of their lives were exemplary - one misstep and they must go. We vilify politicians of the other party and search for a piece of their past that can be used to tar them with the stigma of evil. We remove game-show hosts and TV personalities because of an ancient Face Book post. 

People spend too much time looking for the bad in others, when we should be looking for the good.

Several years ago, my company hosted a group of Nationalist Chinese business people at our office in San Diego. Our meeting continued into the evening. As dinner time approached, I asked the leader of the group what kind of food they would require.

“We have eaten only in Chinese restaurants since we have been in the United States,” he responded.

“Would you be open to try something different?” I queried.

“Oh yes,Thank you.”

At my favorite waterfront seafood restaurant, we all sat at a large table. The Chinese government official - a rather large officious lady sat directly across from me. At the recommendation of the group leader, she ordered something she had never had before - Alaskan king crab legs.

The orders came out, and our lady across the table stared down at her plate, and before I could offer some help in how to crack the shell and exhume the delicious meat, she picked up a whole crab leg - shell and all, took a gigantic bite, and began to spit out crab shells while savoring the meat inside. While her approach to eating crab legs was not what we all expected, it worked for her, and we can all learn a valuable lesson.

There are too many people today that spit out the good in others while chewing the bad. 

Our broken political system results from people see only bad in their opponents. They are not willing to accept good ideas from the other side. They are not willing to admit that there is anything good in their political foes.

We need to take a big bite, spit out the bad and enjoy the good. 

When listening to others, look for the truth and throw away the false. 

In Jesus’ parable of the "Wheat and the Tares," a man planted a field of grain and while he slept, his enemy came and sowed tares in the field. When his servants saw the tares, they asked the owner whether they should gather up the tares. The owner replied, “No because when you gather the tares you will also uproot the grain. Let both grow until the harvest, then you can separate them.” [Matthew 13:24-30]

We live in a fallen world, and as a result, life can be difficult. Peace will come only when we discover what God wants us to change and work on and then go do that. 

Success is not canceling those with whom we disagree, nor remaking the world to our liking. 

Happiness comes in finding and celebrating the good not the bad. 

Bill Johnson

Monday, August 30, 2021

Crisis Overload


I don’t know about you, but I am in crisis overload. The TV news hits us with news of the mishandling of the Afganistan,situation,  hurricane Ida’s destructive march through Louisiana, Mississippi, and parts north and east, and the latest COVID-19 statistics.

Then last evening we heard our grandson has tested positive to the disease and his father is awaiting the results of his test, and my wife, Rita, woke up last night with severe pains that she had never experienced before.

Is it enough to cause one to wonder, “Where is God?” 

But, having reached this ripe old age, I have not only God’s word to fall back on, but also life experiences that convince me of God’s love and give me peace in these desperate times. 

The Lord has pulled, pushed, and carried me through storms that resulted from my stupid blunders, those of others, and the fallen nature.  I know 

He is in still in charge.

The first time I ever heard God’s voice was many years ago, when I was at the lowest point in my life, and wanted out. My life was in turmoil. I was sliding deeper into a pit of destruction and didn’t know what to do. Laying in bed that night,  I cried out to God for help and to tell me what I should do to break free. He immediately answered my prayer with three words.

“Your big toenail!”

The Lord doesn’t always speak clearly or in an easily understood way, but there was no doubt what He wanted me to do - Nothing,just trust Him o work things out.

Several years earlier, in the midst of a late Friday night bowling match, my sixteen pound bowling ball fell off the rack landing on my big toe. On Saturday, I played a round of golf standing on one leg. By Monday the toe had swollen so much I cut the front out of an old shoe so I could go to work. Seeing the condition of my foot, both my boss and my secretary insisted I go to the hospital immediately.

At the ER, they took X-rays of the damaged digit and set me in a large, darkened exam room. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I noted a series of light boxes along the left wall. Soon the technician came in with my x-ray pictures and stuck them on the light boxes, so they were clearly visible. 

Important questions came to mind. What would be the treatment for a broken big toe? How big a cast would be required? Could I still work? Could I even walk? My thoughts were interrupted as three interns came in, examined the X-ray pictures,  snickered among themselves, marveled at the dangers of bowling, and walked out unsuccessfully trying to hold back laughter. Later, a few more came with the same reaction - serious examination, giggling, and departing without a word to me. Twelve different interns and three nurses examined my X-rays without even acknowledging my presence.

After what seemed like hours of impatient waiting, the doctor came in, checked the X-rays and sat down across from me. Without saying a word, he grabbed my foot in his two hands, put both thumbs on my big toe and squeezed. That pain was several orders of magnitude worse than that of the bowling ball’s impact, which had been somewhat anesthetized by consumption of adult beverages. He put a Bandaid on the toe, gave me his business card, and told me to come see him in three weeks.

Stunned by the total lack of medical care, I asked, “but, what about the toenail?”

“Don’t worry. It will fall off by itself in a short time.”

In God’s three word response to my prayers, The Lord was telling me, “Don’t worry, your problems will fall,off by themselves in a short time.”

Within two months, I accepted a new position, moved half way across the country, left my problems behind, and started a new life.

God acted on my behalf and told me not to worry.

Today, while the world is spinning out of control, I am confident that God is still on His throne and He will lead each of us through whatever crisis we face.

I realize that each one that is reading this message is facing things they never expected, the loss of a loved one, major surgery, test results which might change your world, a deadly disease, or some other obstacle to your peace. All I can say is God will bring you through this time and He is saying to you,

“Do not worry, I will see you through this and it will be only for a season.”

Bill Johnson