I’m tired. There I said it. I’m just plain old tired – worn out. The pandemic is the primary reason for this. No, I’m not sick. I don’t have COVID-19 to the best of my knowledge.
Instead I have something else – I have tiredness. In reality the pandemic just exposed what I’m really tired of.
I’m tired of the fighting. I’m tired of stubbornness. I’m tired of the idolatry of being right. I’m tired of the idolatry of partisanship. I’m tired of the short term thinking that compartmentalizes everything just so we don’t have to do any self-examination. I’m tired of shallow thinking. I’m tired of seeing selfishness on display. I’m tired of disregard for other people’s health. I’m tired of narcissism. I’m tired of not talking about issues that we should really be talking about. I’m tired of the protection of privilege and privileged life. I’m tired of accommodating consumer Christianity. I’m just tired of it all.
How long are we going to continue to pretend and lie to ourselves about all of it?
How long are we going keep lying to ourselves that we are united nation? Seriously. Have we ever really been united? Maybe in times of crisis. At least initially. But that fades off pretty quick and then we go back to bickering like spoiled children who demand our own ways – “I’m right and you’re wrong!”
After the Revolutionary War we started dividing along partisan lines – Federalists and Anti-Federalists. Read the actual history of the early part of the nation and see how divided people actually were. Laws were passed to jail people who spoke unkindly of President Adams. Yeah, a real golden era you had there.
Or maybe you’d rather get to the Andrew Jackson era. Jackson was a narcissist through and through. He ripped Native Tribes from their homes and sent them packing, screwing tribes out of their land, with many dying along the way. He saw himself as a fatherly figure of the nation. Read some of the commentary from people who opposed him. They were pretty critical in their commentary.
Or how about we get to the Civil War era – regardless of whether you are talking before, during or after. Remember that a Member of Congress was beaten with a cane on the floor of the House of Representatives. That’s a pretty good analogy for how divided the nation was then. Remember the thousands of dead from the war that ripped us apart?
Or maybe you want to talk about the Reconstruction period, or Jim Crow laws, or the era of the Progressives versus industrial titans, or the numerous wars we got ourselves into, or fights over who could be allowed to vote, or prohibition, or the stock market crash, or race riots, or war and anti-war protests, or corruption in government, or…
Tell me, when exactly have we as a nation actually been united?
In disaster. And only until the disaster passes the initial shock phase. And then we go right back to worshipping our belief that we are right and you are wrong.
How sad. I’m tired of it all. I’m tired of the long history that showcases our inability to get along – even with our fellow citizens. I’m tired of the even longer history of humanity’s inability to get along – even with those who claim to follow the same God.
Why do we insist on fighting and coercing others into our way of thinking and believing? Why are we so selfish as to think that we have all the answers?
I’m tired of it all. I’m tired of regional animosities. I’m tired of ideological purity tests. I’m tired of white supremacy. I’m tired of the hatred of people who are LGBTQ+. I’m tired of the fights about money. I’m tired over dehumanizing anyone who is not like oneself. I’m tired of people experiencing poverty having to struggle just to survive in the richest nation in history. I’m tired of narcissism. I’m tired of so much.
I’m not really interested in having a conversation about this actually. I just needed too vent. To express. I’m not even writing for anyone else to read this, even though it is published on my blog. Please don’t comment on this post – especially if you are going to point out how wrong I am on anything I’ve written about. Please, just don’t. That won’t help – it will only make me tired.
And in the midst of this tiredness, what do I have to cling to? There is only one thing – God. Everything else will disappoint. St. Augustine said it best when he wrote in his Confessions – “Our hearts are restless, until they rest in you.” Oh so true. Maybe I’m not tired after all – just restless. The constant barrage of life does not allow for rest. Sin pulls us away from Sabbath – the sacred rest that God created. A rest designed to renew and restore. A rest designed to remind us that we belong to God and God is where our identity and value is found. Not in all the stuff we do, have, or believe. The world offers a great deal of restlessness. And demands that we be satisfied with it.
But God offers us Sabbath. Or more accurately – the world rejects God’s Sabbath. Sabbath is different from the world’s ways and identities – Identities that confuse us and blind us. Identities that fog our vision so that we can’t see the image of God in our fellow human beings – we’re too busy figuring out how different we are and how imperfect everyone else is.
I’m tired Lord. I turn to you. Forgive me for looking elsewhere. All that searching has tired me out. Made me restless. All of that listening to the distraction of this world has tired me out. All of the paying attention to the fighting. All of that energy wasted on combating people and ideas and ideologies and consumerism. All of it has made me restless.
You offer a different way Lord. A way that isn’t based on a struggle or war against. Rather, you offer a way that doesn’t even acknowledge there are other legitimate alternatives – so why fight them? How could there be a legitimate way outside of you and your ways Lord? That defies logic. That doesn’t make any sense at all. Help me Lord. Help me to let go of the belief that I am the Savior and have to fix everyone and everything else. Forgive me for placing myself in your role. Help me to live out what you call me to. Give me voice to proclaim what you want me to proclaim. Move me in directions that you want me to go. Let your way of peace guide me through this world of division and idolatry. Help me to rest in you. Amen.