Last week probably wasn’t this blog’s bright, shining moment.
I did something last week that I’ve never done before: blog angry. I’m not an angry person, not in the slightest. I grew up with an angry dad, so anger is not something I like dealing with. As far as I’m concerned, we in this country get too cheesed off too easily over things that don’t matter in the long run.
I don’t visit angry blogs anymore. They drain too much emotional energy, especially since they never seem to have practical solutions to the issues that make them angry.
Anger without focus is about as unhealthy as it gets.
Unfortunately, the state of our country today is such that most of our anger is directed against nebulous sources. That not only fuels further anger, but leads to frustration and despair. When what is causing the anger cannot be located or reasonably addressed…well, it’s destructive.
I’ve spent most of the last two weeks angry, not a normal state of being for me.
I don’t have much, but what I do have I’d like to preserve. Not in an idolatrous way, but because they are good things worth conserving so that generations to come will be grateful for me fighting the battle.
I’m now fighting the biggest company in the world. Needless to say, that’s not an easy battle. It’s asking more of me than I have, but I also can’t lay down and give up on what’s important in life, especially at a time when more and more people are coming around to the values I hold dear. To be a champion of those ideals for others, only to lose in my own backyard is galling.
As someone who makes a living with words, to see our local library levy go down to crushing defeat was more disabling to me than I would have guessed. Then again, I had no reason to believe the levy would fail. At any time my family has about 30-50 books checked out of our library. I’ve got a hotline to the staff. New books on the shelves are like candy to my family. The power of story blesses people in the brightest and toughest times. Why would anyone vote against that? To see that threatened brings out the father bear in me, I guess. ROAR!
At the beginning of last week, the Lord gave me a discouraging word I didn’t want to hear right now. And sure enough, I had to drink that bitter cup down to the dregs. On Friday, we got the bad news, leaving us still drowning in the wake of the tsunami I discussed a few months ago. I’ve now run out of all options and I don’t know what to do. So I’m going into the Christmas season about as low as I can go, hoping and praying for an elusive miracle.
People who study human behavior say that a person under extreme duress reacts with his “shadow personality.” In my case, the normally exuberant, extroverted Dan becomes sullen and withdrawn. Not angry becomes angry. Content becomes frustrated. Spiritually-oriented becomes secularly-oriented.
So my apologies if the tone here recently seemed indignant. I don’t want Cerulean Sanctum to become an angry blog. If anything, it’s supposed to be the antithesis of that pattern.
Tomorrow, I’ve got a post on community that I think will rock. It won’t be angry, just hopeful.
Thanks for being a reader.
21 thoughts on “Blogging Angry”
Maybe I glossed over angry parts or don’t remember them, but I thought you were appropriately expressing frustration about evil and foolishness. In any case, your blog is wonderful and I look forward to what’s in store. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.
We will continue to pray for you and yours. My wife shared the following quote with me as we shared our heaviness of battles in this world. Our family has been through one thing after another and we feel such heaviness (1Peter 1:5-6). But be of good cheer….
“If you walk with the Lord long enough, you will discover that His tests often come back-to-back. Or perhaps it would be even more accurate to say back to back to back to back. Usually, His preparatory tests don’t stop with one or two. They multiply. And as soon as you climb out of one crucible thinking, “Okay I made it through that one, you’re plunged into another, where the flame is even hotter. Crucibles create Christlikeness.
Great Days with the Great Lives
The flame does not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.
Your prayers are greatly appreciated.
I am not a writer, and barely a blogger, but it seems to me that we write and blog from where we are. You are frustrated, discouraged, upset, etc. What makes you think that you will blog from a “happy place?” Last week I was tempted to tell you to cheer up, but then I thought that would be unfair and probably unbiblical. I don’t want you to fake it.
I pray that you find joy and encouragement in the Lord and His Word. When you find hope you will write with hope. I look forward to that time, but I always enjoy your take on things–hopeful or not.
My two cents.
This blog exists to edify and provide solutions. If I’m not doing that, then I’m not being true to the spirit of Cerulean Sanctum.
Anger is a problem for me too, so I commiserate with you. I turned it inward for so many years there were times I was nearly suicidal. Now that I allow myself to express it outwardly, I have work hard to not let the anger of others to set me off too. It’s a balancing act I’m still learning and probably will be for as long as I live.
BTW, I had a discussion with a friend of mine who has a degree in psychology about the angry behavior my mother exhibits sometimes. Mother has advancing vasular dementia and it can be bewildering and extremely upsetting when a 90 year old former school teacher has temper tantrums like that of preschooler. My friend explained to me that anger has its roots in fear and looking back I can see my mom has always acted in anger when she was worried or afraid. Sadly, it’s a bit late to try to explain such things to Mom, but I think God wants us to remember He did NOT give us a spirit of fear. I can’t imagine that David didn’t feel a little afraid when he faced Goliath, but he trusted God and moved in faith. While I don’t know the future outcome of your fight with a corporate Goliath, Dan, I know that God is with you. Take these promises of God as your lifeline, Dan, and hold onto them for dear life……….and watch and see what He does!
1 But now, this is what the LORD says—
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
May His peace be with you and yours in the face of all the world throws at you.
Thanks for your prayers and concern.
Perpetually angry blogs are certainly life-sucking; I do not disagree. On the other hand, people who write in some sort of apathetic state that is removed from their life and true place of being are just…boring. And generally, they write political blogs that link and fisk.
So, if you’ve had a rough patch, write from that patch. No need to apologize, I should think, unless you’ve insulted people that didn’t deserve it.
I wrote a post a little bit ago on one of my other blogs which had to do with self-portraits — completely irrelevant here — but there is a brief line from it that I think would be good to remember: stop being so hard on yourself and allow yourself some grace once in a while.
Certainly the one thing no one has accused me of is being dispassionate! I think the passion is one thing that keeps people coming back.
I’ll be praying for you, Dan!
Thanks, Todd! I always appreciate prayer.
I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:
KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
Do not be overcome, we have a mighty champion, He reigns and He will conquer. The battle doesn’t depend on us, He has the victory already.
Remember what the Lord told Moses, “I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians” and again “I will be with you” and “I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people” and then “I will help you speak and will teach you what to say”. The task wasn’t dependent on Moses at all. Moses was afraid, knowing his own weaknesses. But the Lord was on his side. The Lord had to teach Moses what that meant.
One last bit from this intended “encouragement” turned sermon:
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Know that these works were prepared for you because of the work Christ did in you and now does through you.
If that mighty champion would decide to come through in a big way right about now, I sure would appreciate it!
I understand if you don’t have the time or if you don’t feel that answering this is profitable, but can I ask why you think Wal-Mart is so terrible? I have been reading your blog for a while and really appreciate your insight and wisdom. I’ve lived in Mount Vernon, Ohio for over five years now and it seems (I realize appearances can be deceiving) like Wal-Mart is certainly not slowing down our local economy. New stores and resteraunts are coming in. My sister also worked at a Wal-Mart when no one would hire her right out of college. She said that it was a great place to work and offered her advancement opportunities. She said that what was really curious was that none of the other people she worked with were willing to take on management responsibilities even though they were offered the chance and compensation.
I guess I just don’t understand. I’m not some grand defender of Wal-Mart, in fact I do my grocery shopping at Aldi’s. But I’m not sure why I should be fighting Wal-Mart since while raising my three little kids, my time is limited and thus precious.
When Sam Walton was still alive, he ensured that his company bought American. You used to be able to go into a Wal-Mart and see banner after banner trumpeting how a certain product Wal-Mart bought was made by Americans. Often those banners would say how many jobs depended on that item being purchased by Wal-Mart from that manufacturer.
But Sam wasn’t even dead a year before all those banners came down and suddenly the store was filled with cheap crap from China. I read the other day that 20% of all Chinese sales of exported retail products comes from Wal-Mart purchasing.
Wal-Mart is famous for threatening product manufacturers in America with taking their business to China. As a result many of those manufacturers beat them to the punch and closed down all their American factories, shipping all the work to China anyway. In my state of Ohio, the bicycle manufacturing industry in Dayton, notably Huffy (once the largest American producer of bicycles), was utterly destroyed by Wal-Mart’s tactics. They also destroyed Ohio Arts, the makers of Etch-a-Sketch. And when I mean destroyed, I mean destroyed. Huffy doesn’t exist anymore except as a brand name, and I think Ohio Arts employs about a half-dozen people in the state, down from hundreds.
Isn’t it interesting how the rise of China as a superpower coincides with Wal-Mart’s shift to “get it as cheap as possible, even if we have to go to a Communist country to get it” operational strategy? And because Wal_Mart went that way, so did everyone else in order to compete. If we should fight a war with China one day, and we may, our children on the front lines of that war will be killed by weapons we financed. I hope we can live with ourselves over our desire for cheap, offshored, globalized junk.
The Wal-Mart/China partnership is indisputable. So is the persecution of Christians by the Chinese government. That government is funded by the cheap Chinese products we buy from Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart busts unions simply by existing and refusing to hire union workers. I could go on and on about the way Wal-Mart treats its own workers, but you can Google and find out the scoop.
Wal-Mart destabilizes local economies in favor of global economies. It comes into a town and wipes out all the Mom & Pop establishments. Then the chain stores move in and your quaint, rural town filled with its own regional and local idiosyncrasies becomes yet another homogenized step on the road to blandness. Towns like mine get suckered into thinking that Wal-Mart will solve all their problems, yet I’ve got to ask how many young people from our town will stick around to work at Wal-Mart if that and a bunch of other $8.40/hr. fast-food and cheap retail jobs are all they can look forward to. Especially when there’s a million other places just like it now that Wal-Mart is everywhere and sprawl sets in here, obliterating what makes this town liveable.
Friends in the suburbs come out to our place to see the Milky Way at night, to actually be able to live Psalm 8 and consider the heavens that God created. I don’t want to see that obliterated by the wasteful lights from a Wal-Mart, Fashion Bug, Blockbuster Video, and whatever other hundreds of hangers-on crowd in around the new Wal-Mart and destroy my western sky. I don’t want people tossing their trash out the window along my road, the road that directly leads to Wal-Mart. I don’t want a ready stash of guns for purchase less than a half mile from all our town’s public schools.
Do any of the farmers in our area think that Wal-Mart will buy their produce or pay top dollar for it? Are you kidding? That only makes the area poorer and destabilizes the local economy. Once the farmers and Mom & Pop business are gone, they don’t come back. Ever. I don’t know about you, but when the majority of American food starts coming from overseas, this country is done for.
When a Wal-Mart goes in, the crime goes up. No more assured truth than that follows Wal-Mart wherever it builds. I don’t want more crime in my town. I don’t want the traffic congestion and the roads filled up with semis. I don’t want them building a highway through my backyard to handle the increased traffic. I moved out here to get away from sprawl and consumerism. More and more people are agreeing with my decision, too. I don’t want to think that the Wal-Mart Supercenter destined for here will be the last one they put in before the larger backlash against cheap goods at any cost sets in within the wised-up culture and Wal-Mart stops their expansion. The groundswell is gaining. I hope its not too late to keep Wal-Mart out of my town.
I’ve wondered sometimes about the times that God has gotten angry about something and lashed out in His anger. One of the lessons I learned when I was overseas was that the outflowing emotions that I felt often echoed the spiritual nature of my reaction. Righteous anger, more than anything, produced feelings of grief and sorrow. Human anger usually produced, well, anger, frustration, and a feeling of impotence. Wanting to put my fist through a wall now causes me to reflect on what produced that anger. It not only protects the walls from holes, but my knuckles from damage.
It’s not something I can back up with scripture, other than knowing that as Jesus crested the hill on His way to His crucifiction, He wept over Jerusalem.
My prayers are with you, not only as you stuggle in the waves, but as you prepare for battle; that you gird yourself properly and completely (For want of a nail…) and that you remember that the real battle is already won.
I’m fighting on so many fronts I don’t know which way is up. I keep hoping one day that Elisha will pass his hands over my eyes and I’ll see ten thousand incandescent horsemen and chariots on the hills around me.
Thanks for elaborating Dan. There’s much to consider.
I find that sometimes this world and all of its noisy nonsense
can easily steal my gaze from the one who has become my very life.
As we run to the battle, let us run with our eyes fixed on Jesus,
the author and finisher of our faith.
This from AW Tozer, in “The Pursuit of God”-
Equipment can break down or get lost,
water can leak away,
records can be destroyed by fire,
the minister can be delayed
or the church burn down.
All these are external and subject to accident
or mechanical failure . . .
But looking is of the heart,
and can be done successfully by anybody —
or kneeling down
or lying in [your] last agony,
a thousand miles from any church.
—A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God (pp. 94,95)
Stand fast, brother.
I too have felt discouraged with the state of affairs in this world, this nation, and my community.
I saw this bumper sticker the other day and just had to chuckle because I could relate to the emotion behind it:
Where are we going, and why am I in this handbasket?
Sometimes I just have to laugh, or I’ll cry…