As we write through the week of Ash Wednesday, I feel like a confession from my own life is in order……..
I always felt like my college and young, single guy persona was really even-keeled. Most people thought of me as one who didn’t worry about much or let anything get under their skin. And really, I liked that people thought of me that way. I felt like it made me a little more accessible and maybe girls liked it too.
I never really remember getting angry or overwhelmed about much during that time. I remember specific conversations and difficult moments, but as for anger in the aggregate, I feel like I was trending pretty low.
I never really thought much about why I had such a peace (or perceived peace) about me during that time. I had relatively little conflict with anyone and just rode my mountain bike a lot and learned to play guitar.
But now during this time of Lent and talking about our own frailties, I must acknowledge one of my own – especially when compared to my relatively peaceful teens and twenties.
I’m can be an angry guy.
Now, I don’t guess I have any real reason to be angry. I have a knockout of a wife who loves me to a ridiculous degree and two boys who I feel could be the envy of any parent. I am working my dream job and we are getting along fine as a family.
Yet, during the past 5 years, I have noticed a recessed pustule of a character trait wake up and take residence in my responses and reactions to stress.
I can get really, really angry when I get overwhelmed.
Now mind you, I am not an angry guy in the sense that I abuse or mistreat. But what is definitely true about me these days is my short fuse and irresponsible words to those I love. When I get frustrated, overwhelmed, and overly tired my filter falls to the floor and the game changes completely.
If I am honest, I am really uncomfortable writing this on the blog. I don’t know a lot of our blog readers, and those I do know I would like to keep thinking I am like I was in my 20’s.
But, I am not. I really struggle.
I struggle with feeling overwhelmed and less than competent to deal with what life is throwing at me. I have two VERY amazing boys, but also VERY needy. I work a job that is VERY fulfilling, but VERY draining at the same time. I lead a household that blesses me VERY much, but asks for more than I feel like I have in reserve.
This is nobody’s fault. My family is amazing and there is literally nothing more I can ask for. Nothing.
So, why the anger, Robey?
Honestly, I am not sure. Maybe it is genetic. Blame it on my roots, right? That is tired.
Maybe it is my own mistakes and shortcomings as a man. I don’t measure up a lot and those things stick with me. Maybe.
Maybe I lack the resources needed to deal with a young family and career. Maybe I lack courage or even the capability to do what is needed.
I am not sure.
Yet, I felt compelled to write on this. Lent is about going into the dark valleys of your life and not ignoring things. Anger is a dark part of my story. It is one that just made itself known and I don’t know how it got there. Yet, it is a part of me and I need to point it out.
Walking through Lent reminds us of our frailties and the places where shame and guilt have creeped in. We figure out where these things have defined us and broken us so that the resurrection of Jesus can heal the decay.
This is my confession for Ash Wednesday. I’m an angry dude.
And, I need Jesus.
What about you? What would you confess?