Monday, April 5, 2010

What Pisses You Off?

What pisses you off?

Now that Easter is upon us -- the entire week after Easter Sunday is Easter Week -- we are confronted with the need to embark on a new life. The period of Lent is that arena where we face those things in our lives that put barriers between us and God, and where we work intentionally to remove those barriers. Now that the barriers have been removed, or at least are smaller, the next phase begins -- fresh living.

Part of fresh living is facing those things that anger us, piss us off, and dealing with them, so we can move on beyond the same old baggage we had drug around for too long. Maybe we began dealing with all this during Lent, but most likely there's still work to do.

So, my question -- what pisses you off?

I've got some ideas about what pisses some people off...

Fundamentalists (of all stripes) are pissed off that no one sees the world in the sharp black and white that they do.

Atheists are pissed off that those god-believers, of whatever stripe, but mostly Christians, don't see how stupid the whole idea of an all-powerful deity really is.

Liberals are pissed off that no one sees the need for more collective action to mold us all into better human beings, with or without God, and preferably without.

Conservatives (modern-day American variety) are pissed off that the present regime in Washington isn't bowing to their obviously superior plans and beliefs.

Al Qaeda is pissed off that the United States doesn't just dry up and blow away.

Politicians are pissed off that no one seems to realize how hard their job is.

Moralists are pissed off that people still keep doing the same stupid crap they've been doing for centuries.

Sexual addicts are pissed off that no one seems to understand just how important sex is.

Writers are pissed off that editors just don't see the brilliance of their story-telling.

And finally, I suspect that God is pissed off because people are alike in so many important ways, and different in so many insignificant ways, and have so much trouble realizing which is which.

What pisses you off?

Are you willing to look the source of your frustration and anger square in the face, and work to reduce or eliminate its power over you?

Are you willing to take on the difficult task of forgiving people for angering or mistreating or thwarting or oppressing you?

Are you willing to buy into the idea that only grace -- the free gift that we Christians say God offers to each of us -- is the only way out of the cycle of vendetta that seems to consume the world of men?

Are you man or woman enough to take on the challenge of not being pissed off any more? Do you have the backbone for that job, or is it just plain easier to stay pissed off because it's so damned familiar and comfortable?

The daily news indicates that most of us prefer to remain pissed off. I pray that we someday reach a point where being pissed off is rare, because we're a long way from that now.

Easter is upon us, and we can have a fresh life if we're willing to pursue it. God assures us he's ready to help.

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