The other day, my Dad and I were grilling some meat for Dawson's third birthday party
when we noticed some cigarette butts sitting in a flower pot on my back deck. Knowing those cigarette butts were put there by an extended family member, we talked some about how insanely addictive nicotine is and how close my dad came to getting hooked on nicotine when he was in high school.
While grilling FDA approved cheap hamburgers and talking about the terrible effects of cigarettes, something awful dawned on me. I realized that the government is so careful about regulating some things while looking the other way when it comes to other things. The FDA (thankfully) keeps a close eye on the quality of meat put in our grocery stores but those same grocery stores sell cigarettes full of carcinogens wrapped up in the hardest-to-break addiction - nicotine. This realization caused me to go into a mini-tirade about how lobbyists can convince our elected officials to put the financial interests of a fiscal bottom line above the health interests
of our citizens.
After I came back down from my rant, as he often does, my dad just said, "I know. I know. It's
wrong but nothing is going to change it." This time, however, my dad added an extra bit of wisdom, an insight that has likely come from listening to many other similar rants. My dad warned, "Son, you're going to have to let some of that stuff go, the things you can't change, because if not, it's going to eat you alive."
I have to agree, he's right. It will eat me alive. But as I told my dad later, I don't think
I can let that stuff go, because I have a sense that the anger arising in my soul from injustices in our world is something God can work through to help make this world a slightly more just place.
A couple weeks later, while reading a book by a former NTS professor, Dan Boone entitled,
"Seven Deadly Sins: The Uncomfortable Truth," I read these words:
"Could it be that anger, yielded to God, shaped and directed by God, becomes the passion for
redeeming the world? Could it be that redeemed anger is the energy we need to do something
about a world gone wrong?
It makes me wonder if when we figure out what's in our craw, when we figoure out what makes
us angry, if we wouldn't be on the verge of discovering the passion for redemptive action. If
maybe our calling is connected to our anger.
If there was more redeemed anger in the world, there would be less poverty, less discrimination,
less character assination, less abuse, less divorce, less pain. If there was more redeemed
anger, there would be fewer battered wives, neglected children, religious frauds, power games,
liars and cheats.
Christians are too nice. We swallow our anger too often. It's time we took it to God and
figured out what to do with it. No need to waste things that can be recycles. Be angry -