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Angry on My Island

How’s your life been for the past five days? Has it been good? I truly hope so. Let me tell you how mine’s been. For the most part it’s been good, fairly productive with a little bit of leisure time mixed in and I’ve eaten fairly well so in that regard I can’t complain too much at all. But there’s just one detail that I have to tell you about my life the last five days

The air conditioner in my house has been dead for the past five days. And not dead like some batteries are, where you can flip ‘em around and get a little bit more juice out, but dead dead. It has been dead for five whole days and in those five days I’ve learned a good bit about the type of person I would be if were actually stranded on a desert island, because honestly North Carolina in the middle of August is a lot like a desert island in that it’s unfathomably humid. The new game I play is called “How long after a shower until I’m covered in a new sheen of sweat.” I also have to shout at my roommates for them to hear me over the low roar of box fans, much like a desert-island-dweller would shout at passing boats and/or planes.

But all this (mis?)adventure with my air conditioner, and lack thereof, has got me wondering something. Do you ever think about what all we take for gra…

No. I will not give you the same lecture your high school guidance counselor gave you at some point during your teen years. We’ve all heard it, and I refuse to rehash it.

Instead I ask this: what kind of person would you be on a desert island?

For instance, after this experience I know that I would be the kind of person to try and look for some resources. I’ve stared at my AC unit at least 47 times so far (and yes, I did keep track on my trusty palm tree) hoping for some way to make it work. But eventually I resigned to my fate and try and make the most of it. How would you react to desert island life? Would you make a best friend out of someone or something (looking at you Mr. Hanks) near you to ride the storm out with? We all need support in life. What better time than when we’re at our least? I’m fairly sure Jesus made mention of that, but I’ll leave looking it up to you.

But there is a positive and negative side to everything, such as Mexican food (deliciousness/after-effects, etc.), and a desert-island experience can bring them both out of you. I’ve been angry at an inanimate object for large chunks of time this week. Sounds silly right? My anger is not going to make that fan turn on again or make those cool particles of air rush down on me. No more than feeling lonesome being stuck on a desert island is going to help someone be rescued from such predicament.

I won’t tell you which person you should be or even need to be. Because for too long we have been told that we have to be positive in the midst of trying times. I was taught in Sunday School countless times that we should greet trouble with a smile and a thankful heart. But how practical is that? There’s an entire book of the Bible named Lamentations! God’s not going to be upset with you that you’re upset; maybe God even wants you to admit your hurt! I know it sounds crazier than talking to a volleyball (again Mr. Hanks…looking at you), but if we’re to be open up to God in the midst of our struggles than we need to be authentic about our hurts, our feelings, and our anger.

So it’s okay that you’re upset when you’re stuck on your desert island. Don’t be ashamed of it! Accept and move forward with it, because it’s part of your experience just as much as the joy and support. Anger is part of endurance. When you’re on your desert island, whatever that experience may be in your life, take the bad with the good. Feel the bad and the good. Be a whole person, because God wants to be with that whole person on your island with you.

Josh Godwin

There a handful of things in this life I truly love: my God, my wife, my dog, my town, my Cheerwine. I also love ministering with teenagers to help them realize God's love and everything God made them to be.

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