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