Thursday, January 15, 2015

Am I too Grumpy?

I've been wrestling quite a bit lately with what seems like my general state of grumpiness.

It hasn't been an overt, or even excessively visible, grumpiness, but anyone that's been close with me over the last year or so would tell you that I've been a bit of a grump.

Here's something that I've read recently, and it put quite a bit into perspective for me:

"A person has to be thoroughly disgusted with the way things are to find the motivation to set out on the Christian way.  As long as we think the next election might eliminate crime and establish justice or another scientific breakthrough might save the environment or another pay raise might push us over the edge of anxiety into a life of tranquility, we are not likely to risk the arduous uncertainties of the life of faith.  A person has to get fed up with the ways of the world before he, before she, acquires an appetite for the world of grace." - Eugene Peterson, Under the Unpredictable Plant

Peterson nailed me here.  I am, and have been, "fed up with the ways of the world."  I am "thoroughly disgusted with the way things are" and have no hope in elections, scientific breakthroughs, or pay raises.

So what, then?

Well, I've realized I'm just sad -- and that is ok.  To be sad is a doorway, not a destination.  To be sad is to be in a place where hope can bloom.

I've been sad that life hasn't worked out the way I've wanted.  I've been sad that my relationship with God, and even the Christian Life hasn't worked out the way I've wanted.  I've wanted and yearned for what we were all created for -- a life of peace and joy and beauty and deep intimacy.  I've wanted a life void of stress and pain and hurt and disappointment.

But the hard things have come in spades and the good things have come far too sporadically.

So I'm coming to embrace my grumpiness.  My grumpiness is sadness disguised.  And my disguised sadness is actually a pathway to hope.

All this is to admonish you to embrace your grumpiness.  Be the Grump.  And recognize that it stems from a deep sadness and from broken hopes and dreams.

Then take the sadness before a merciful and loving Father, one who proved his care by taking on flesh to bear the weight of all the world's sadness.  And let's praise together when 3 days later that sadness is broken and hope restored.

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