Supreme Ambition Ministries

To Know Christ and to Make Him Known – Philippians 3:10

WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND…

As a young person living in the hills of West Virginia one of my favorite things to do on Sunday mornings was to read the comic section in the paper. Sunday’s comics were better than the daily strips. There were more of them and they were in color. Some of my favorites then are still my favorites.

One such comic was Pogo. pogo3.jpgPogo was a character created by Walt Kelly and, as many cartoons, became a satire on the social, political and moral blunders of the day. Perhaps the most famous quotation which comes from the strip deals with the pollution of the planet. Pogo Possum and Porky Pine are gingerly walking through the forrest one day. The forrest is littered with cans, broken glass, garbage and trash of all sorts. Porky Pine trys to put the best spin on things saying, “Ah, Pogo, the beauty of the forrest primeval gets me in the heart.” Pogo Possum responds…“It gets me in the feet Porky Pine.” Suddenly, the truth of Pogo’s words come crashing in upon Porky Pine and he says, “This stuff is hard to walk on.” It is at this point that Pogo’s innocense and honesty catapault him into the role of a philosopher and he quotes the immortal words of Commandore Oliver Hazzard Perry to General William Henry Harrison…except with just a little twist. “We have met the enemy and he is…us.” With that statement we leave our little friends in the Okefenokee Swamp to contemplate the new revelation that sometimes the greatest problem I have is…me.

Pogo’s contemplation gives opportunity for me to look at myself and my world and try to discern the problem. Most of my life has revolved around the Church. My earliest memories have something to do with Church or the relationships found therein. For about 40 of those years I have been preaching the gospel. During that time some of the most glorious times I have had in my life have been with brothers and sisters in the Church. However, during that same time frame, some of the most devastating times in my life have been with brothers and sisters in the Church. Interestingly, it has been during adversity that I have seen the most growth in my life. Let me correct that. It is usually after the adversity has passed that I see the growth, if there is any. When I’m going through it, I usually don’t see anything but the difficulty.

WHO IS THE ENEMY?

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Perhaps one of the most difficult things to discern in damaged relationships is who is at fault. After all, if there is a problem in my relationship with you, it must be you. Why? That’s obvious! It can’t be me… so it must be you. Who is the enemy anyway? Is it Snidely Whiplash? Is it the pastor, nursery director, or deacon? No? Then, perhaps it might be the parking lot attendant or someone on the custodial staff. Still haven’t found the culpret? How about your companion or the kids…Those kids! They are a sight, aren’t they? Not them either, huh? Come now. Surely you can locate this dispicable character. I mean, after all, it is that person who is causing you such pain. Try really hard, now. Oh yeah, it’s the devil, isn’t it? Well. Yes. He certainly is the one who is ultimately behind all the evil and lies in the world. But in my limited experience it seems as long as we can blame our misbehavior on, ‘the devil made me do it’, we will never get to the real problem in our life and that is…me. When Adam chose to eat of the forbidden tree he blamed Eve. When Eve was confronted with her fault, she pointed her finger at the serpent. In the Church we are experts at blaming others for things that may be mostly our fault. In the political arena the Republicans and Democrats blame one another. The liberal media blames the Religious Right. The Conservatives think they have all the answers. Truth be known, I need to sit with Pogo and Porky and view the ‘trash’ in my swamp. Before I can point my finger at anyone, I must first look at Me. Could I really be the greatest enemy in my own life. I am a broken man in the midst of broken people in a broken world. Yes, there are others who contribute to the mess I see. But, if I look long enough into the cesspool of iniquity I call my life, it won’t be long before I get the same revelation Pogo got…I have met the enemy and he is ME. Scoot over Pogo…I need to think about this for a while. Selah!

September 15th, 2007 Posted by | Discipleship, Relationships | 2 comments

2 Responses to “WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND…”

  1. I remember being told that when I point my finger at anyone, there are three fingers pointing back at me. I never liked that… but it is true. Stephen Covey says that when we think the problem is “out there”, that very thought IS the problem. You have great things to say… Keep writing!

  2. it is so true ………the time has come that we look inside and start to truely reflect , assess and love who we are and allow our lives to be in the hands of the one that truelly loves us for who we are , and who we can be with him in our lives…. we may be the problem but we are also the solution, once we allow god to work his majestic works on our lives…