- Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Michael Woroniecki "How To Win The Crazy War"
How To Win The Crazy War. -a pamphlet written and distributed by Michael Woroniecki focusing on his testimony.
THEY say “Life is what you make it. So work hard boy and make something of yourself !”.
Gee, such inspiration! So personal! Really makes you want to get out of bed in the morning. I don’t know about you, but I had to find another purpose in life other than work. It was a tumultuous battle but I can now tell you...
My motive here is not to write a ME-centered ego-trip. Rather, it is my hope that, even though the variables in our lives may be different, my transparency over the “crazy war” we share with our human nature can help you find the astounding alternative!
From the womb to the tomb “they” tell us the way life is supposed to be; “Make a buck and run the rat race”. Don’t question life’s meaning or secular and religious authorities. Just go along. But stop right here! Isn’t it worth considering that what “THEY” say could be dead wrong?
We are just a simple family. No church or group. Yet what we preach is by no means typical. It rubs many people the wrong way. Some contend “So everybody is wrong but you?” Just because everyone thinks the same way does not make it right. The entire nation of Germany became convinced Hitler was a great leader.
Throughout generations a majority have been duped by political or religious leaders. Deception is very real and tragic. It starts when we’re just kids. Things like peer pressure, laziness and routine build in us mental boundaries. Due to the deep insecurity in our human nature we actually become slaves to what others think.
I grew up a tough beer-drinking Polish catholic from the west side of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Got arrested the night before High School graduation but the head cop had watched me play football on Friday nights so I got off. Hard winters and short summers made me want to get out of a town I considered quite hokey. Besides, I had to know what was “out there”.
We all find things to occupy our loneliness and boredom. Football was my obsession. I hated school, studying and basically anything that sniffed of conformity to THE MATRIX. When I looked up at awesome cloud formations and inhaled fresh cut grass it told me there had to more to life than to spend my one short life on this planet to “GET A JOB! (Ps.19:1/ Rm.1:20)”.
I surely wasn’t “into God”, but I went to Mass, said the rosary and loved my pope. However, when I was alone, I did some deep thinking about God. I wondered if God was real would He display such utterly profound beauty in the stars, oceans and forests but leave man’s purpose to find fulfillment in working eight to five? Did a Creator depend on universities and technology in order for you to find purpose?
My five brothers, sister and Dad thought my mom was getting a little weird on us because, instead of talking about saints, confession and sacraments, she began talking about the “living Jesus”! What in the world was this supposed to mean?
We were very close so, wanting to be her friend, I listened. Never thinking this was for me. Then slowly I began to see an angle. I could profit from this God-thing. Why, of course, God could prove Himself to me by getting me a football scholarship to a university then I could escape Grand Rapids. Hah! What a brilliant ... warped mind.
So I went into this bargaining season with God; If He could get me to make All-City fullback, which would get me a scholarship to a university, then I would go to one of my mom’s prayer meetings at my West Catholic High School. If one of my buddies ever found out I went to a prayer meeting I’d be dead-meat as far as my “macho” image.
I know all this may sound quite petty and irrelevant to your own life situation. What I’m trying to do is show you how God is not only intimately acquainted with all our seemingly insignificant thinking, but He yearns to enter into dialogue with you about it all. These are the beginnings of real FAITH!
To make a long story short, God did His part. I made All-City, but I miserably failed at my end of the deal. When I got to Central Michigan University I threw myself into lifting weights. I soon ran a 4.4 forty yd. dash and bench pressed 425 lbs. I was the fastest and strongest guy on the team. (And made sure everybody knew it.) All of this image was really my desperate attempt to hide profound insecurity and fear of what others thought.
The campus scene allowed me to finally become a “somebody”. People knew me. Coaches talked about me. I was on the top of my fantasy world. Can you not relate to this in some way? I got arrested with one of my coaches for fighting at a bar. Soon the guys nicknamed me “Crazy War” from my wild disposition and last name. Little did anyone know how accurately this described my deep anxiety. I was tormented by the crazy war of being completely LOST! I hated being a slave to an image.
Then the unthinkable happened. I tore-up my knee in a spring game. Like a popped balloon, my ego-trip imploded. I became subject to things out of my control. The team didn’t skip a beat. Another fullback instantly took my position. I was left with crutches and a very uncertain future. It’s downright eery how unforeseen factors can pull the rug out from under you. In one moment everything can seem so “great” then at a time unexpected, WHAM, things bottom out!
You and I have a HUGE CHOICE in life! Despite all the peer pressure we are NOT robots or animals! We have a FREE WILL accountable to God for what we say and what we do. Not to choose is to choose....NOT to. The majority HARDEN their heart against God because of some difficulty or misfortune. Men are quick to blame God for bad things that happen yet just as quick to refuse to believe in God.
Have you ever found yourself thinking “How could God let this happen to ME?”. Maybe it’s the sinful consequence of something you chose. Maybe it’s just a result of the human plight. In any case YOUR CHOICE to submit to God, or resist Him, will determine whether that thing, and all others, come under God’s powerful redemptive Hand.
People brag about being ‘master of their own destiny’ but then get mad at God for how things work out. It’s ridiculous! You alone are responsible for your attitude towards things. How you listen and how far you take things is solely up to you. To harden your heart against God is not hard (Heb.4:7). It’s easy. Everybody does it.
I CHOSE to interpret my sufferings as a divine test of my heart of hearts. I recognized my own wicked self-obsession, insecurity and lust. I had no qualms about being identified as a filthy sinner. What about you? How big is your ego? How great is your defiance to God’s clear cut revelation (Rm.3:10)? To deny your sickness only prevents God’s wonderful remedy.
I remembered that “deal” with God that I failed to fulfill. Could I dare try it again. God is so wonderful! He doesn’t give you a second chance. He offers you 70x7 chances (Mt.18:21 )! If God would get me a full-ride scholarship, despite my injury, this time I would definitely “serve Him”. (I had no idea what I was talking about.) I will never forget those words of my coach when I went in to see him “ No sweat, ‘War’. You proved to me you’re worth a scholarship.” Either I was extremely “lucky” or there just might be a God.
You don’t know how impossible this was but I do. God does the impossible! It all depends on your heart! Some say you shouldn’t test God by asking for things. God says He wants to show you His power(Lk.11:9ff). God will use whatever He can so that you will then turn to Jesus to uncover true salvation! The mistake people make is to assume that when God answers your prayers, it means He approves of your life ‘blank check’. You must seek His Spirit (Acts3:19/2Pt.3:9)!
Hidden under my stereo was a small New Testament that my mom had sent me in a box full of chocolate chip cookies. With my leg in a cast, all alone, night after night I CHOSE to start reading the Gospel of John(eating the cookies). While listening to Santana and Moody Blues, I began to “hear” another kind of song (Rev.15:3)! God wants to meet you right where you are at. He is not ‘freaked out’ by ANY of your sinful ways! Don’t ever worry about what you must STOP doing. Focus rather on what you must START doing. Talking to Jesus!
My heart was slowly being drawn into some kind of new realm far beyond all my superficial obsession. My consumption with this concept of discovering “the living Jesus” caused me to lose touch with ME (Jn.12:25). There actually IS something beyond the me-life that “they” say is what you are supposed to live for.
I was captivated by words that broke open my spirit to something I never even knew existed. Jesus did not speak of religious traditions or church attendance. He tells wicked sinners, like me, not to fear coming to Him (Lk.5:8). He said; “If anyone is thirsty let him come to Me...out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water” (Jn.7:37ff,3:8). I pondered night after night “What exactly is ‘living water’ ?”
The summer of my sophomore year I attended a conference at the University of Notre Dame. By this time I had read the Koran, studied Siddhartha and tried to “transcend” bad things through a “mantra”. None of it rang true. Please, listen to me, my dear friend. All religions consist of mere lofty ideals, including Christianity. They offer you no practical solutions. They insist that high moral conduct will merit God’s forgiveness and result in a “better” life for you. This is baloney! Jesus does not “better” your life. He offers you an inner supernatural NEW LIFE (2 Cor.5:17).
One thing slowly became clear; JESUS WAS NOT RELIGIOUS or reflected in ANY of man’s religious systems or churches! He is a Person! He will draw near to you. He deals with individuals in an individual manner. No prayer formula’s or generic traditions. Jesus offers specific explanations and promises to resolve your deepest struggles.
The Bible says Jesus bore SIN on the cross. His blood became an atonement and appeased God’s wrath for sin (Rm.3:25-26/1Pt.2:24). This WORK separates Jesus from all other “teachers”. I didn’t understand what all this terminology really meant. I did understand what it meant to rise from the dead. So what my question was, and what yours must become, is “Are You really alive today JESUS?”. Talk TO Him not AT Him!
God is so personal and has such a cool sense of humor. While sitting in the football stadium of Notre Dame, Jesus answered this bum. At that precise moment I was “born from above” (Jn.3:3,7). This is the bottom line!
You, my friend, MUST be “born from above”; to escape hell and receive eternal life! You must be regenerated from a lost and dying “Adamic” soul into a new resurrection spirit (1 Cor. 15:45/Jn.4:24/Heb.4:12). The goal posts and the mural of “Touchdown Jesus” were the same on that beautiful June morning, but I became completely NEW (2Cor.5:17)! The “Crazy War” was won! Jesus released me from the fear of men to become a ‘War’rior in this world of rebellion. That huge weight of guilt for sin was lifted. No longer would this soldier fight a losing battle. I would “work” for the food that does not perish (Jn.6:27,29)!
Jesus is not”acceptable” or trite. Especially amidst today’s glut of Christian hypocrites. I was blown away when I returned to football camp. I had no idea I would be rejected. If the leader of good times announced a greater “high” surely “THEY” would listen. Not only did they not listen but they already claimed to be Christians and simply labeled me as “over the edge” and “weirdo”.
I discovered how a grain of wheat must die before it can live. I had to enter a “cocoon” in order to fly. It is written “He who loves his life shall lose it and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (Jn.12:24-25). My soul was a “grain of wheat” being broken! My new “Coach” granted me a ‘scholarship’ to the “university of the Holy Spirit” (1 Jn.2:27/Mt.11:29). Further football injuries isolated me. Instead of self-pity I chose to discover my identity as a son of the LIVING God! Someone had seen. Someone had known. God Almighty had loved ...a wretched sinner like me! Jesus promises “If any man comes to Me I will not cast him out...learn from ME (Jn. 6:37/ Mt.11:27).
I was raised to think good deeds must outnumber bad deeds to get to heaven but the Bible says ALL our deeds are rooted in evil pride (Is.64:6/Jer.17:9). We are not “basically good” but “basically” evil! God does not expect you to be “good” to get to heaven because He declares all men to be wicked from birth (Rm.3:10). One cannot make oneself into a Christian. One must be “reckoned” work of Jesus Christ by a supernatural act of God (Rm.4). You must MEET the living Jesus! Make a deal with God for the salvation of your soul on His terms. God wants to give you REVELATION of the living Jesus for the price of your pride (Jn.12:25/Mt.10:25,37ff)! You have everything to gain and nothing to lose....except the crazy war!
You are accountable to God for how you respond, or do not respond, to these things. God will respond to you depending on how you treat those who stand for Him.
Don’t let others determine how you respond!