Giving up Chronic Outrage for Lent

I’m giving up chronic outrage for Lent. I'm exhausted dumping my energy into being chronically outraged because there is an endless supply of situations to be outraged about. I just can’t do it anymore. I am finding that chronic outrage doesn't make way for us to do anything about the issue other than joining in on the choir of those who rant and rail at the darkness.

Please don’t misunderstand me. There is indeed plenty to be gravely concerned about - much that horrifies and breaks our heart. Absolutely, we must oppose injustice in word and deed, but please hear me; chronic outrage is NOT sustainable, not just because we can get burnout the sheer volume of it, but the emotion is volatile meaning it burns fast and produces little. Oh, we might be able to write that fiery, epic facebook post but it doesn’t provide energy for the long run - for that which is necessary to affect change. We need something much more robust.

I think I am at the point where enough is enough. I am no longer content to "kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight." I'm not sure it works that way. I am in a space where I realize darkness is overcome with light. Darkness is the absence of light, so to vanquish the darkness I am choosing to speak about what is loving, what is beautiful, that which is life-giving. Shining light that dispels the long shadows of despair and darkness. It is shining a light in such a way that it shows a way forward, a way into the love that overcomes, inspires and endures in a way that outrage and hate can never do.

I understand that there is an appeal to writing that perfect rant, rife with sarcastic burns,

People get addicted to feeling offended all the time because it gives them a high; being self-righteous and morally superior feels good.”
Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

while our mutual admiration society on Social Media egg-us-on with its likes, emojis, and retweets. I understand the personal satisfaction and the self-righteous feeling of telling someone off. It can feel really good!

BUT... we do realize that we are talking past each other, right? Much more is required if we really want to see lasting change. If we truly want to see positive change we need to agents of healing in our world, not propagators of more outrage. Agents of reconciliation. We must resist the use of violence (even our rhetorical ones) and engage in genuine peacemaking. To love our enemy (and ourselves) towards wholeness, where someday our enemy becomes not only our friend but an ally.

I confess to you that this is not easy to do, nor is it for the faint of heart because sometimes the darkness seems so unrelenting, ... so... dark. It is from this place that I must hang on as the Light of the World hangs on to me. My chronic outrage will just not cut it. It's not rugged enough. In a world full of injustice and rage, I need something that can hold that pain and anger, and transform it in life-giving ways. Where blind outrage is content to burn it all down, Rugged love makes beautiful - towards wholeness, healing, reconciling, and making all things new.

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