Everyone is so mad … all the time … about everything. There’s just so much to be mad about. The landlord isn’t being straight up about getting work down. Businessmen are ruining my neighborhood with a project that will drive hundreds of MORE cars right past our door. Our bills keep going up due to ridiculous fees. Someone is stalking our neighborhood and stealing stuff. Everywhere I turn, people want more money or control, friends aren’t treating other friends right, the manager at a favorite grocery store is always rude … … … I’ll stop now, but trust me, I could keep going.
AND that’s just life close and personal. I can’t overlook bigger issues — government land grabs, changing laws, changing vocabulary (ever notice how just about anything we say anymore is an insult to one group or another or has a hidden innuendo), more changing laws, changing moral approaches. Did I say changing laws? Even after decades of progress our headlines still scream “Racist!” “Sexist!” “Phobic!” There is a LOT to worry about … a lot to offend people over … battles everywhere I turn!
Is it just me, or does our nation feel more divided, suspicious, and mad at each other than at anytime except maybe for the Civil War?
Have you read Mercer Mayer’s children’s book, I Was So Mad? I loved the Little Critter series (maybe even more than my kids). I Was So Mad, in particular got me, because it provided a clever way to tell my girls to not be so self centered. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s a short, entertaining version of the story.)
Why is it I can chuckle about a kid who gets upset for not getting his own way, but have fogged-over vision when it comes to recognizing that my anger is born of the same stuff – ME! It’s all about me!”
If only this angry, self-centeredness stopped just with me, then maybe the problem is manageable, but what do you do with a globe full of overly grown “two-year-olds” all stamping their feet, sputtering, “My way or no way!”
America may not be the worse country. Well … let’s be realistic, we probably are. Our culture demands no ground rules, no absolutes, no right or wrong. What feels good … what seems right to us … that’s want we insist upon. And we want our way RIGHT. NOW. OR we’re going to scream OR boycott OR tell the media OR take our business else where OR post ugly comments on Facebook OR ignore you OR incite others to hate you … OR! OR! Something! But we’ll definitely do SOMETHING and let you know how evil you are, because WE. ARE. SO. MAD!
Okay … deep breath. Calm down. Here’s a thought –
I know it’s outdated to believe in God. It’s worse to accept that Jesus Christ is God. But look at the post modern mess we’re becoming without Him. Nearly every armchair (hidden-behind-a-computer-screen) critic insists that the Bible is a fairy tale, and God is dead. But really … how is the world a better place by rejecting God? As a result, all I see is an angry, loveless, orbiting sphere full of self-obsessed and often cruel people. This is progress?
I’ve tried, I really have, to embrace a more “intellectual,” progressive approach to life, hoping that such truly is a way to a peaceful world. I am a university graduate, have a BA, have continued studying and furthering my abilities as an educator. I read much. I talk to people of all walks. I’m fairly intelligent and still … I can’t let go of the idea that I am a created being … that I need the God of my origin in my life, and I truly don’t think there is any other answer for this world. Why?
Simply because we are so mad … all the time … and He is not. I know, I know … the rep is that He’s an angry God, ready to crush us, but slow down a minute. Here is Christ on the Cross:
He never sinned,
nor ever deceived anyone.
He did not retaliate when He was insulted,
nor threaten revenge when He suffered.
He left His case in the hands of God,
who always judges fairly.
He personally carried our sins
in His body on the cross
so that we can be dead to sin
and live for what is right.
By His wounds you are healed.
I Peter 2:22-24
He did all of this AND He forgave those who betrayed Him. Just what would this world look like if you and I calmed down, sat down, and showed true charity (i.e. give to others what they do not possess or maybe even deserve)? Now that’s an interesting proposal … less of us … more of Him … and as a result … just maybe, we won’t be so mad.
My prayer for today:
I need Your help. I don’t know how to offer true charity to others, especially when I’ve been misunderstood or taken advantage of. Please help me not to be so mad, but to be a peacemaker. Help me discern when to speak up on the behalf of others and when to be silent concerning my own causes, trusting that You will always take care of that which concerns me. Help me to act gently and with grace. Please remind me before I open my mouth with angry retorts, that You are just, powerful, and have a plan. I hope that You are pleased to let Your charity grow in me today … may You be able to overlook my stubbornness and find a way to make me useful for Your purposes.
Thankful for the name and example of Jesus.