Two Kinds

Two Kinds

Author: The Rev. Dr. David Bridges, Priest
November 17, 2021

 In the past several weeks I have visited a few large cities. I noticed that a growing majority of people present themselves as one of two kinds; (1) Angry, or (2) Worried. I can see it in their faces.

The angry ones have a grimace permanently glued on their face. They don’t interact well with others and don’t handle stressful situations well. They are always ready to fight, even to kill, if so prompted.

They are angry about any number of things, but their speech often gives the root of their anger away; government, finances, politics, religion, relationships, etc. They are not ready to give-up their anger; they seem to enjoy it in some needful way.

The worried ones keep their eyes toward the ground. They have no smile left in them. They don’t handle stress well, and are always ready to retreat. Their actions indicate a stifled ability to stand-up for themselves, or voice their real feelings.

These conditions have been evident in our society for as long as there have been humans. The difference today is the rapidly-increasing percentage of people in these two categories; angry or worried.

I am not referring to those minor cases of tension or depression that afflict all of us. I am referring to a prolonged state of being; our ethos (Greek: “character, personality”). When anger or worry become deeply ingrained in daily life, we begin to take-on that personality.

When that happens, we are most often unaware of it. The shift can be so subtle that our ethos changes without much resistance. During the last two years we have experienced one of the greatest challenges of our lives; the COVID-19 Pandemic. The “toll” has been far greater than just the actual lives ended; in includes hundreds-of-millions more lives that have been up-ended.

Our way-of-being has changed. We can’t or don’t socialize as much as we did. We are always confronted with decisions based on our health and the health of others. We are fighting among each other about everything!

We have become so sensitive (easily offended) that we don’t hear what people are saying as much as we hear what we think they are saying. We are angrier and more worried than we have ever been.

Membership and participation in churches, civic organizations, and the job market, have declined significantly in recent years, even before pandemic. But there is hope.

The confident expectation of the final arrival of God’s Kingdom is our basis for hope. In Matthew Chapter 24, Jesus explains how difficult life will get as the end of this world grows closer. I pray you will be prepared for the reality of Jesus’ words and draw close to a family of faith for mutual support in these times.

Blessings and Peace to You All,
Fr. David+


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