Beware the carousel trap of hate and anger. It’s like an amusement park ride where you choose your horse, go up and down peaks and valleys, and hope that things will get better when you go around the next turn.
The problem is the carousel horse simply goes in a circle. As the music repeats itself, we ride up, and down, and up again, and sometimes get so preoccupied with the ups and downs that we fail to recognize we’re just going in a circle with no chance of betting out of the trap.
Life in a fallen world can be hard. We can be lied about, betrayed, hurt, shunned, or worse.
I have a lifetime of experience of the above and know how easy it is to respond first with anger and hurt. It’s important to feel and acknowledge the pain. When we are on the receiving end of those bad things, we can slip into self-pity and sometimes feel like what we are going through is unexplored territory in the history of humankind.
Wrong. People have done bad things to each other ever since Cain and Abel. Once we realize that, it makes forgiveness easier.
When we forgive those who did terrible things to us, we do not free the perpetrators from accountability. Forgiving does not mean we open ourselves to continued abuse. Sometimes, the only course we can take is to permanently remove ourselves from an abusive situation.
What do we do instead?
When we forgive those who are evil, we give ourselves the freedom to heal. And with the healing come opportunities to build something new.
In other words, there comes a time when the smartest thing we can do is say, “Stop the carousel. I want to get off.”
When we do, perhaps one day we will find a real horse and ride it into new adventures.
We must forgive in order to live. And when we do, we will discover that faith is possible in a fallen world.
I am still learning to ride off into the sunset. But as I learn, I’ve discovered the huge difference between a wooden carousel horse of hate and the real thing of joy, love, and learning.
Wanna join me?