What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

19 March 2017

Righteous Anger

My poor coworkers had no idea what they were getting themselves into when they decided to be nice to me. But when I'm surrounded by people this amazing on a daily basis, it's hard not to tap into our great conversations when it's time to write a blog post. (That is to say, more coworker-inspired posts are coming. If y'all are reading this: ye be warned.)

It's nice to know, in these moments,
that God still has your back.
I don't remember how the conversation started, but my coworker told the story of a priest telling her, "Just go kick God in the shins and you'll feel better." The idea that it's okay to be mad at God is not a new one, of course (should you doubt that, try reading the Psalms), but it's not one I heard until I was an adult, when I had finally figured it out on my own and no longer needed that affirmation. This is information that would have been helpful at ages 12-19. (It's helpful now as well, of course. But it would have been good to know then.)

I don't know if it's the faith tradition I grew up in (although I have my suspicions); I don't know if it was the era, with former rebel Baby Boomers trying to get their Gen X teenagers to do the opposite of what they had done as teens and instead trust what authority figures had to say; I don't know if I happened to be living among people who had never been given this permission themselves. Regardless, the message I received as a young person was that God knew what he was doing, and any thoughts to the contrary were not only futile, but also a sin, and possibly blasphemous. And then they wondered why so many of my generation went running from the church once we hit college, when the more remarkable result was how many of us stuck around to see how this thing turned out.

Real talk. He's still there even in the kicking and
screaming moments. (I have no particular insight
on the hot dog.) Source.
Of course it's okay to be angry at God. Of course it's okay to tell him so. Of course he knows that we can't see the big picture on this side of eternity. Maria Trapp expressed it so beautifully in The Sound of Music: "It will be very interesting one day to follow the pattern of our life as it is spread out like a tapestry. As long as we live here we only see the reverse side of the weaving, and very often the pattern, with its threads running wildly, doesn't seem to make sense." (Yes, I find many uses for that book. It's packed full of wisdom and truth.)

Life is going to suck sometimes. Please, by all means, let God know how you feel about the sucky things. Rant and rave and even swear a bit if you need to. "He's a big God; he can take it," may be trite and slightly goofy, but it's still true. And please teach your children and everyone you know that this is okay, too. Bad things happen to people who are taught it's never okay to be angry. Give your nearest and dearest the tools they need to carry on without checking out through a world that's just going be outright wrong at times.

And trust that the God who holds all things in his hands is not going to be horrified if you get angry from time to time.

No comments: