I’ve found myself angry a lot lately.
Angry at the state of the world. Angry at school boards and politicians. Angry at realizing we’re never going back to normal and angry that normal just covered up so much brokenness.
To quote that favorite literary mama, Marmee March, “I’m angry nearly every day…”
But lately, all that anger is coming out disastrously towards my kids
My angriest days are often when I’m measuring the output of my life by the world’s standards for success.
But on that scale, making meals and doing dishes and restating boundaries for the twelfth time in a day means nothing. It’s not financially rewarding, it won’t go viral, and unless you figure out how to write about it, no one will know.
But measuring by the world’s yardstick for success just leaves me cutting down those around me and cutting off my own source of joy.
Maybe that’s why Jesus called his followers to a different measurement.
Matthew writes about a mama keen to see her boys get their just reward. She asks if her sons can sit to the right and left my n Heaven. And the other ten friends go ballistic. Like, who are they to ask that? And maybe, why hadn’t they thought to say the thing everyone was thinking?
Jesus rounds them all up and set them straight. Again.
(Guess it’s ok that I’m also still struggling to make this part of my own soul DNA.)
He didn’t come to set up an order of influence and popularity, to rule by power or fame. No, he came planning the whole time to serve and rarely be thanked, to lose his life for people that would spit at him.
And that’s the invite he extends to us.
Follow Jesus and your day will be spent serving, your hours consumed with pouring out, sacrificing, battling for righteousness in a thousand unseen ways. All of it likely going unnoticed, misunderstood, or plain attacked.
You’ll likely lose “followers” and be “liked” less the more you look like Jesus. The dust from his sandals and the blood spattered from his wounds will make you an unappealing mess to a world bent on perceptions of perfection.
But you’ll find something in that renegade life. You’ll find joy. And hope. And the peace that seems so elusive these days.
If I’m angrier, it’s because I’ve started looking more at the world around me to tell me how to measure the worth of my days.
But I’m trying to see back to a time when we didn’t live our lives by our phones, when we weren’t connected to a billion strangers and the call for greatness seemed a little clearer.
Be like Jesus.
As the world keeps turning and twisting over itself, that will be the one way for keeping our corner right side up. It will be the one path forward that is level, sure, and meaningful.
It won’t make sense to a world gone mad but it will keep you from getting mad. Eyes clear to see truth, heart full of Christ’s love. No way you can lose.