Not long ago, I mentioned that the news was making me depressed and angry so often that I thought I had invented a new emotion: “deprangry.”
It’s a difficult situation for me, because I’m basically an optimistic person, accustomed to looking at the world with healthy good humor. But lately my comic spirit feels like the inside of an old oven, run too hot for too long, and crusted over with the thick, black grease of outrage and the hardened cheese drippings of despair.
And why? Because, although I am an optimist, I am also Mr. Worst-Case-Scenario. I can imagine terrible things happening; I’m just hopeful that they won’t. But over the last few years, events have been outpacing even my imagination.
America is no longer even interested in trying to be America. Instead, it seems to be aspiring to make itself into a mash-up of Mexico and Poland circa 1974. And while the republic circles the drain by every measure of a great nation (except number of tattoos per capita, where we are absolutely killing it—take that, Mayans!), we spend crucial weeks of a presidential campaign arguing over whether or not free condoms are a constitutional right.
There is too much to be mad about anymore, and still be me—the easy-going, hopeful me that I want to be, anyway. So, the time has come to start dealing with my case of deprangry in a more healthy way.
I’m not going to just walk away from news and politics. That would be a give-up move, and giving up is not on the table. Plus, frankly, I need it like a junkie. So, if I’m going to continue to stand knee-deep in a river of crap, how can I keep it from ruining my shorts?
Well, the name of this blog is The Cynical Christian, because cynicism is a pretty important part of my personality. But the second part, “Christian,” is an even more important part. When the cynical part starts to overwhelm the Christian part, it’s time to take a step back to look at the bigger picture.
There is evil in the world today, and greed, and corruption, and anger. But it has always been so. There’s always been stupidity too, and very often it has been in charge of things. So, the struggle of free men and women is no different now than it ever has been.
And whatever struggles I find here on earth, the most important thing to me is my relationship with God. Without that, you can’t win enough arguments to be right.
I don’t see myself getting to a point where I quit arguing, but I can make the argument subordinate to God, where it should be, by giving it to Him. That’s my aim now, and winning will be a nice by-product, but nowhere near the most important thing.
I can’t let myself get tricked into believing that peace can come from elections. I already know where peace lives. Someone who knows that has no business being deprangry.