Please, God, I Don't Want to Be a Cranky Old Man*

*(I realize my title is passive voice, and yes it does make me slightly grumpy).

Have you ever been motivated by the wrongs, the negativities, and disgusting actions around you enough to want to do it all differently?  Last blog I wrote about my favorite eccentric memories growing up. I'm lucky to have great memories. My childhood seems to be a rarity.

Because I work in a people industry, I'm constantly surrounded by messed-up people. People whose perspectives, attitudes, and actions tend to rub off on me. Yet at the end of the day, most of these people are simply acquaintances, and their viral moods cant seep into my DNA; most of their infections can be re-rubbed off, scrubbed off, or antiseptically soaked in a bottle of alcohol.  Most of us can self-medicate the annoyances of the workforce fairly well.

It's family that's difficult to wash your hands of.

Remember when they used to sell "Homies" in the
quarter machines?  Yeah, that was weird. 
When it's your blood, your kin, your clan, your peeps, your homies, (okay, too far) and they are hurting, being hurt, or acting like babies or's just, different. Blood infections need hospitalizations. And most of us don't have time for down-time or sick days when its only our souls that are being hurt.

Perhaps I'm being vague, and yes, I am.  My family, on both sides, is hurting. I won't get into specifics, because it's family, yet I seem to get dragged into these battles and find myself emotionally attached to one side. I'm trying not to pick sides in their affairs, but sometimes events force you into annoying situations.

I was forced to defend someone I love to another family member (whom I also love) while he was prosecuting his case against the original defendant (while heavily intoxicated). I know better than to argue with a drunk.  Not that arguing with this prosecutor while sober ever yields positive results, but on this occasion I had heard his evidence and didn't care. I'm sorry, prosecutor, even if the defendant is guilty of these minor offenses; even if he's been guilty of minor offenses all his life; even if their is no willingness to ever show growth and change...he's my family, and I'll always love him. No amount of belittling, posturing, positioning, angles or fancy courtroom shenanigans is going to convince me to convict him.  Is he guilty of most of the offenses? Yes. But we aren't Amish, we don't shun our own. Blood is blood, even if it's sick or infected.

What I clearly witnessed was what I do not want to be; what I sometimes am: a lawyer, a judge, a critic. I'm tired of finding faults in people. I'm tired of picking sides. How hard is it to love?  How hard is it to say, "Yeah, that was stupid, but I still love you, man."

I'm sure Judge Judy is a blast around the Thanksgiving table. 
I'm not saying to throw out discipline, or advice, or even giving people a hard time; I'm just wondering why some families have such a hard time showing each other affection? This is your blood, your flesh. What other thing was so entrusted to you to grow, nurture, and give happiness to?  Why do some people give more affection to their cat, their cars, their belongings, than their offspring?

The older I get, the more I realize how messed up we all are. Humans are a stupid species. We make constant mistakes. I'm lucky I have a family I can run to in any situation and seek shelter from the storm when I suck it up in life. I'm lucky I have a God who hears my complaints, my needs, my prayers, and fills up the chasms in my soul that drinking, complaining, and crying don't. I'm glad I have love all around me.

It's funny how the one I'm speaking of, has so much family, so much love around him, and yet contains so many chasms in his soul. I hope I'm constantly reminded of the love around me, because everything else in me wants to become that angry, old, prosecutor; lamenting about how life has done him wrong, how family has done him wrong, how he was somehow shortchanged by circumstances...

Because I'm incredibly lucky. Some people don't know how to receive or reciprocate love.


  1. I know I hate people who judge others! (Wait, today's Friday right? Must be time for As...ah nevermind)

    Seriously though, I struggle with family. Not that I love them less, in fact I think I expect more from them because I do love them. I know that's counter intuitive, but I don't expect squat from a stranger. A loved one I expect better behavior from. None of that probably makes any sense. Good luck with family drama. If your family is like mine, wounds don't always heal real fast.

    1. Yeah, I expect a lot from family as well (we aren't bottom feeders). But when one family member is trying to pit us against another, the idea is just unfathomable. I'm not going to turn on a family member because he has some minor personal flaws. Even if I did agree, what am I going to do? Spit in the face of the guilty party and say, "loser, sinner, not in this family!" Doesn't do any good to ex-communicate family.

  2. Ugh. Family is tough, and it keeps getting tougher as we age. I hate it when people start taking sides and squabbling. I wish we could all be more forgiving and kind...

  3. Sorry to hear that your family is going through this. I'll hope and pray that the prosecutor will soon decide to stop being a victim, and learn to just love and accept. The same sort of stuff is going on with my fiancé's tiny family, and I hurt for the person who is holding on to so much unforgiving anger. Loving and letting go seems so easy, but it can be so incredibly hard for others. If only they could see how much happier their lives would be if they exchanged that anger for love.

    1. Thank you Natalie and Erica. I sometimes wonder why forgiveness is so hard, and then I realize that forgiveness is part of a belief system. A system that is no longer very popular. Even though forgiveness can be hard, it is incredibly freeing once you let go of old beefs.


  4. Is it possible to seek the approval of men and be an effective servant of Christ? To go with the flow works well unless there is a waterfall at the end of the river. Then the ride can get a little bumpy.

    Galatians 1:10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

    The apostle Paul said if I were "still" trying to please men. Obviously while Paul was a Pharisee he was trying to please men.
    Do men today continue in their denominations to please friends and relatives?

    John 12:42-43 Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.

    Are there those today who know in their heart that Jesus was correct when He said "has been baptized shall be saved," but will not confess it because they fear being ostracized by church members, friends and relatives?

    James 4:4 You adulteresses, do you not know the friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

    If we have friendship with the world, then we get their approval. Is that approval worth becoming an enemy of God?

    Luke 6:26 Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way.

    If all believers and the world speak well of you, do you think you might want to reconsider your life style, as well as your faith?

    2 Timothy 4:2-3 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,

    If men do not like what the Bible teaches, they will find people who will teach what meets their approval.

    We sometimes think that speaking the truth in love means that we should water down the gospel, compromise the requirements for salvation, accept the sins of the world or simply offer excuses for sin.