Monday, October 15, 2012

Introduce a little anarchy

This may sound a bit bizarre to some, but it's something I've been thinking about a lot recently - and it's just how valuable and even necessary a bit of anarchy and chaos can be in our lives.

One of my favorite movies is The Dark Knight. I just think it's brilliant in every sense. Once again this may sound weird, but one of the characters in the movie I have come to respect and even somewhat admire, is the Joker. Of course he is meant to be a picture of absolute evil and is so insane he tells different stories all the time about the origin of his facial scars. Not to mention that he kills people for fun. I'm well aware of that. But I also think he has a very interesting psychological take on some issues.

One of the most powerful lines in the movie as far as I am concerned is when the Joker is talking to Harvey Dent in the hospital ward and he told him that all he sees around him are schemers, trying to control their little worlds and that all he does is show the schemers just how pathetic their attempts to control things really are. The stance he seems to have on the world is he sees what is on the surface and he doesn't believe it's the full picture, so he introduces chaos and anarchy to try to force people to show each other and themselves who they really are inside, under all of the masks. Obviously his methods of doing this are incredibly brutal and violent, and he has little to no care for anyone's life (not even his own) but I can see where he is coming from.

I think back on all of the experiences and all of the people I have connected with in my life and I can honestly say that the ones who left the biggest mark on my life, taught me the most and helped me to realize the full extent of who I really was - were more often than not, the really bad ones. When I first became a Christian, I would come across as the nicest guy who ever lived, always bowing down to everyone and never saying boo to a goose. This may have looked appealing to people but it was only ever a mask. It was never who I really was. The real me was buried deep within the mask - a dark, raging torrent of frustration, fear, anger and violence.

Throughout the early years of my Christian walk I always received lots of nice words about how much of a nice boy I was, etc etc. If only they knew the truth. God wanted to break through the masks and expose the real me so that I could change properly from the inside and live honestly rather than maintaining different masks all day long (which became incredibly exhausting). How did he do this? Through violent, turbulent and sometimes unrelenting chaos. Life did not get better after I became a Christian. It got ten times worse. I've endured stomach ulcers, months upon months of unemployment, abusive workplace environments and of course experiencing burnout last year. Throughout all of this unrelenting chaos, I've learned and grown more than I ever did when times were "good" and since going through burnout, I've learned so much more about who I really am. And I'm not the "nice guy" everyone - even me - used to think I was. I believe I am beginning to transform into an Agent of Chaos myself - but for the right reasons.

I've realized that in a lot of ways - Jesus was an agent of chaos Himself. Throwing tables around in the temple and verbally tearing strips off the religious leaders in public. He wanted to show them the truth and the deceit about what they were really doing, and He had the balls to be able to take the inevitable abuse that would come His way from those in power who don't like being confronted with something about themselves that they needed to change. He trusted and believed that He was doing the right thing to the extent that He was willing to risk taking abuse for doing it. I admire that immensely about Him and it's a side of God that few seem to speak about.

I've realized that there are times when there are pools of darkness in people's lives that quite frankly need to be stirred up. I've endured a fair bit of abuse recently from people and even had to cut some of them out of my life because I stood up for and said what I believed in, knowing full well it would create a storm of chaos in their lives which instead of facing internally and dealing with themselves, it was easier to throw it back at me. Sometimes the kindest thing you can do for someone is tell them the truth - even if it hurts. Jesus did that as well. People have also come into my life and told me the truth about things I've been doing and it's hurt, but I've realized that they were right and I've appreciated it. I've had to make a stand on a few things that I know some people don't agree with. But I strongly believe I have done the right thing and I'm prepared to take the heat for that.

Of course, you need to be absolutely sure you are doing the right thing when it comes to this sort of thing. Jesus certainly didn't chew out everybody. He was wise with it. He had the strength to fight anyone He pleased but the wisdom to know when to do it and when not to. To go all out of control and just destroy everything and everyone would be what the Joker would do, which is obviously far too extreme and by no means right. I've had to make absolutely sure I was doing the right thing before I did anything and I also had to make sure my own house was clean to begin with. It's been quite a scary experience as I'm venturing out into unknown territory by speaking the truth into people's lives and fighting for what I believe in, and realizing that I can survive their retaliation and even fight back if I deem it necessary. It's still something I am getting used to. But I'm much more comfortable with it now than I've ever been before and I realize that sometimes the truth is going to hurt others but if God wants you to say something and you don't because you're afraid of hurting their feelings then you're only hurting yourself and holding yourself back.

Sometimes there is a need for anarchy. Sometimes God might call you to speak severely to someone even when the consequences of that could mean the end of a friendship because the truth will hurt them. But don't let the fear of chaos and consequences hold you back from doing what you firmly believe is the right thing. I realize people may well disagree with me on this post. And that's fine - I welcome your feedback.

Take care out there.

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