April 30, 2001

There's hope for even the hotheaded among us

Josh Renaud

This weekend I watched my friend and former boss Joe Harris get baptized.

Joe, as some will remember, was my predecessor as the editor-in-chief of The Current. Seeing him take this step was amazing, especially when I think back to when I first really got to know Joe.

Joe has never been known for being shy. Last year, and by his own admission, Joe was known as something of a hothead.

Now Joe is a nice guy. But apply enough pressure, and he will boil over. I can recall many frustrating incidents that would make Joe curse up a storm, or go out to the back porch so he could shout until his head was clear.

I wasn't usually on the receiving end of Joe's anger, but I do remember one incident I started with Tom, our ad director. He and I were downstairs doing something stupid. Joe had gotten worked up about it and asked us to stop. We told him to hold his horses. He was upstairs having a meeting in his office. Tom and I, believing Joe was being just a little too uptight, decided we would give Joe a ring on his office telephone. When he picked up, we neighed like a horse and then hung up. Within moments, Joe stormed downstairs and blew his stack, and then he went back up. Tom and I looked at each other, our grins withered.

Any editor will tell you that this job has more than its share of frustrations. In fact, Joe told me numerous times that taking the editorship had actually gotten him praying again, asking for God's help when he felt helpless.

And his prayers were answered. The second semester of his year, Joe experienced much better results. It was as if all the right pieces suddenly fell into place.

This year, I've kept in touch with Joe and other former Current staffers through our weekly bowling night. Over the last year, I've seen Joe take other steps. He's going back to church, and he seems like a new person. He seems to have a peace now that he didn't have before.

It's something I've experienced myself. This job has tasked me like nothing else I've ever done. Through some of the hardest times, God has extended the grace I needed to make it through.

When I get honest with myself, I know I've neglected some important spiritual things. I know that many times I make choices with the wrong motives at heart. To my amazement, God continues to take care of me in spite of my shortcomings.

So Sunday, as I sat and watched Joe get baptized—symbolic of the "old nature" passing away and the transformed "new man" rising up—I marvelled.

If God worked in our lives and got us through our trying circumstances, I wonder what He could do for you.

This article was reprinted with permission from The Current.

Return to GrossWorld » Stories » Current articles