'So Whaaat!'

By Francis Frangipane
(En EspaƱol)

For four years in high school I sat between the same two people in home room: Michelle Fochi and Tony Finn. Michelle was a very sweet, friendly girl while Tony, hmmm, how can I say this? Let me just say, Tony wasn't voted "Most Friendly" in the school yearbook.

The problem was that no matter what I said about anything, Tony responded with the same two depressing words, "So what." It wasn't a clipped, "So what"; it was a long drawn out "So Whaaat" that made me feel like apologizing for being alive.

First place I'd be when I arrived at school and settled in was homeroom next to Tony. Many days I'd be pumped up about something. For instance I'd blurt out: "Hey Tony, did you see: the Yankees made the World Series!" He'd reply, "So whaaat." Or, "Did you hear the new song Elvis put out?" He'd reply, "So whaaat."

For four years Tony made me feel completely insignificant, like nothing I said mattered.

As life unfolded, I left high school and put many years and experiences between me and Tony Finn. I became a pastor, started some churches and was now serving the ministry in Iowa. But I have to admit, this Iowa congregation was different. I came under a lot of spiritual attack: critics found fault with everything I did. It wasn't just people; it was spiritual. The devil was attacking my mind and I was being tormented by the nit picking.

After several weeks of crying out to the Lord, I had a dream. In it, who of all people showed up but Tony Finn. There he was with the same snarl, the same put-downs, and the deep disdain for everything I was.

"Lord," I prayed, "Here I am struggling with spiritual battle and now in my dream Finn shows up? This is like sending Job's friends to comfort me!"

Immediately, the Lord interrupted my distress. He said, "Do you remember how you felt when Tony's words deflated you?"

"Yes, Lord," I replied.

"Well, the way Tony was to you, you be to the devil." He said, "When the devil threatens that people are going to hurt you again, do your impersonation of Tony Finn. Tell him, ‘So whaaat." When he tries to intimidate you, saying people are going to talk negatively about you, you say, "So whaaat."

So I obeyed the Lord. It was amazing how simply saying "So whaaat" to the devil's threats took the air out of them. I had been trying to get through life without having to suffer. Suffer? I had made too much of the enemy's attack. I needed to disdain the enemy like Tony did to me. So what if I got hurt or slandered. Big deal, what's getting a little hurt when I'm actually called to carry a cross?

The Lord used my memory of Tony to minimize the enemy's attack, and it set me free. Now, what about you. You know how Satan has been threatening you with fears and intimidation? You need to deflate the devil's words, as though nothing he has to say matters to you. Try it right now. Think about that thing that troubles you and say, "So whaaat!" Make sure you drag out the "whaaat" like an Italian gangster. It wouldn't hurt for you to pick up your right hand and pinch your finger tips together while you say it either.

For all of us who have been all jacked up by the devil and worried by the news of our times, here's my advice: Give the devil a Tony Finn. Tell him, So whaaat!