ANGER – a catalyst for change or a bitter root?
Anger is an emotion characterized by antagonism toward someone or something you feel has deliberately done you wrong. (http://www.apa.org/topics/anger/index.aspx)
Anger. No one gets your anger unless they are angry about the same thing, otherwise there is something wrong with you and you are treated with contempt. Anger fueled the campaign debates, is seen at work over leadership issues and the fight for who is right, and in our families for similar reasons – beliefs, jockeying for position, control.
I go through moments of intense anger in which I can’t shake it. It’s this strong desire for everything to be made right personally and globally. I hunger for justice, and desire to be in right relationships with those that are closest to me. I have to confess my anger got the best of me last week. I sinned in my anger.
Driving to a local restaurant outside of Chesterfield, I stopped to study before class. In the restaurant was the most angry, rude woman I’ve seen in a long time. She was so angry and rude I thought she was in distress, but it just so happened she was a lawyer talking to another lawyer about her clients, the system, and was very crude. Honestly, what I thought was going to be a relaxing 45 minutes of studying and preparing for class turned into a nightmare. She was a public servant working for a local county and was misusing her power and position. Two things went on in my mind.
1. She needs prayer and mentoring from her boss because ethically she broke many codes in the lawyer’s code of ethics.
2. God spoke to my heart and said, “Anna if you don’t get this under control, that’s what you could potentially look like.”
I can tell you I don’t rant in public for all to hear, but in the privacy of trusted friends and laying in the bed at night my heart is filled with frustration beyond my current control.
I don’t want to be that woman.
Part of my anger lies within my inability to set healthy boundaries, but I”m learning. It’s easier for others to do this. We champion them on! We marvel at folks who stand up for what is right despite ridicule. I’ve been the person who runs from this sort of thing, or does it with lament and confusion.
I had a dream last night. My husband accidentally let a lion out of a box in the midst of the town parade. Everyone went into the local school-house and pandemonium pursued. In the dream, I was uncharacteristically taking charge of organizing in great detail how we were going to survive while the lion was on the loose and trying to find us and eat us. Many naysayers would come up to me and try to ridicule my organization but I stood strong and convicted in what I believed to be the best plan. Who was that woman in my dream? I had meals, exercise schedules, and found name tags to put on folks who had medical issues. I enlisted medical personnel. We helped the hurt, took care of the babies, and made schedules. The elderly were paired up with younger men to assist them. At one point, I insisted that everyone take a shower and stay clean, and keep a normal schedule so that depression would not set in.
Two people I admire immensely are Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa. They were passionately convicted in righteous anger to make changes despite ridicule, poverty, and naysayers. I’ve read books on both of them, and loved their honesty in regards to vulnerable moments in which their fear and anger got the best of them. Anger can be a catalyst for change.
Michael Hyatt has a blog in which he shares information on making a life plan. He shared an amazing, personal story in which his wife and him had snorkeled, and got so far from the shore they were in danger of dying. They looked up from their snorkeling adventure only to find the shore line miles away because they had been caught up in a riptide. No lifeguard. No instructor. They had a boogie board and for hours paddled back to shore and collapsed onto the beach gasping for air. They were dangerously close. He described many of us are in this moment in life – unaware of where we are, how we got there, and a narrow window to make lasting changes to save your life. (http://michaelhyatt.com/032-how-to-create-a-life-plan-podcast.html)
I pray deeply that the frustration and anger that has consumed me will be the catalyst for changes and not a bitter root that makes me sit in a restaurant ranting.