Containing The Yuck

images-1Sorry for the grumpy post yesterday. I’m not sure why that bubbled up the way it did, although it was a pretty good indication of how the rest of yesterday went. Ever have those days that catch you off-guard with their yuck? Wherein things you found lovely and delightful the day before no longer have the power to fend off the onslaught of thoughts about life’s catastrophes?

That was yesterday.

I have a cold, and so at some level I knew the bad day was mostly a collision between germs and Advil Cold & Flu. I’m not great at fighting off discouragement when my head is fuzzy and hurts. But still. Wow. The Suckitude!

images-2The thing I’ve learned about days like that is CONTAINMENT IS KEY.  So while my post yesterday was 100% true (I’m not excited about the holidays) the rest of the day’s thoughts were mostly a collection of discardable nonsense. I was angry at people I don’t even know, frustrated by huge things I cannot change (for example, our nation’s political system) and worst of all, ready to chuck the baby of my Christian faith out the window in the bathwater of the American Christian culture I find So. Very. Exasperating.

I need to unsubscribe from some emails, and hide some of my more vehemently political Twitter friends on the left and on the right.

Because now that we’re in a new day, and I’ve had some sleep, I can see that THIS is equally true, if not more so:  None of those things have much direct impact on my life.  Obamacare is not going to ruin us or save us. American Christian Culture is mostly people trying to make sense of faith in light of the awfulness we see around us, just like I am. And while I WISH it were as easy as keeping out the people we disagree with, or changing the ones who “aren’t doing it right,” it’s not.  We have no idea who is doing it right, really. All we can do each day is get in there and try.

This morning I read chapter 16 in the Apostle John’s account of Jesus’ life, where Jesus more or less says: Things are going to get even more haywire from here, and I won’t be with you anymore. But I’ll send the Holy Spirit to help you sort it out. And while that might not sound like much, trust me, it’s a big deal. Your grief will turn to joy.

This makes me think of my favorite theologian, Coach Eric Taylor from Friday Night Lights. He understood this tension between audacious hope and the pain of what we see in front of us. And yet week after week, he leaned toward the hope, leading his players to lean with him.  Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

This is my goal for today. I still have a cold, which means I’m sort of leaning anyway. Today I will tilt toward audacious hope, trusting that even if I don’t get a single thing figured out, this will still be an interesting day to be here on the planet, and that God is working in places I can’t see, on things I cannot imagine.

Runny eyes, stuffy nose, sore throat…can’t lose! :)

One thought on “Containing The Yuck

  1. Steve Watson says:

    Thanks, Trish. I’m a huge FNL fan. I’ve had that motto on a sign in my office for three years now. (Well, it was in my last office in Watertown. I haven’t yet hung it up in Cambridge, but I will!)

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