Friday, August 31, 2007

Boredome of Anger

A pastor-friend called, talking about a common topic among pastors; a very angry member. Somebody did something to this member to set him off...again. As we talked, the pastor told how this person is chronically angry about something or someone. Most conversations devolve into some type of rant against forces that are out there that are stupid, dumb, idiotic and grossly insensitive to him and his family. His volume rises, his face gets red, and he's just not going to take it any more. They are going to find another church if my friend does not fix things fast!
Angry people can get really really boring. This is not to dismiss genuine and legitimate anger at injustice and abuse (see my rant against Mickael Vick). There are broken and abused people who need to be given permission to scream and yell. But when you are with chronically angry people, the conversation goes in just one direction, always, predictably. And it's boring. You know it's always some onels's fault and they are the innocent victims. Anger goes in one direction predictably.
Joy, however, is neer boring but exciting because you never know where joy is going. Joy takes off on tangents and whimsy, wonder and fun. Joy opens up new spaces of thought and conversation, new vistas to explore, new authors to read, new music to listen to, new places to visit.


At 5:36 PM , Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

This is not to justify anger in the least, and even less so this chronic anger of which you speak.

I do like the words of Rich Mullins in the song, "We're Not as Strong as we Think We are":

And with these our hells and our heavens
So few inches apart
We must be awfully small
And not as strong as we think we are

But you're so right: Joy explodes into really every area of God's good creation, and much so as God's new creation in Jesus begins to impact life here and now, in all kinds of places.

At 8:39 PM , Blogger donnjohnson said...

You're so right Ted. I just received a flaming letter from a former parishoner beginning with telling me how "disappointed" she was in me. Guess what? I knew where that letter was going, and I was not surprised.


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