Monday, March 07, 2011

Staying sane in a mad mad world

Very often, in the course of our lives and especially in doing work within a Church context, we encounter people who are infuriating and appear to us as just plain dumb. The things that they do and say and the manner in which they seem to set themselves up as your personal opposition, to create stumbling blocks and carefully planting them in your path makes you wonder if they are the Devil's minions, seeking to frustrate the work of God which you're doing. You wonder to yourself, are they just plain stupid, blind, or just plain evil. Why can't they see the good that you are doing, why can't they, if they're not helping you, just leave you be, why can't they see that stupid things that they are doing and the stupid, outdated ways which they are doing it, why can't they see the wisdom our your way (aka the RIGHT WAY)? It's all just so frustrating you just want pop a blood vessel and die.

And this is where some of the best advice I'm been given helps me. I have to ask myself, are they doing what they do out of malice, or perhaps misinformation or even jealousy. Are they doing the best they can in the best way that they can see how to? Putting ourselves in another's shoes is a very important and very difficult virtue to practice. Sometimes, we just need to stop and to see things from the perspective of the other. And to refrain from attributing all opposition to malice and malfeasance. In short, we should not be too quick to judge. It's a tough lesson to learn and an even tougher virtue to practice (especially when the blighters continue their #$%^^@ ways day after day and week after week with no relief in sight barring the parousia.

But to survive with any measure of sanity or good humour in the world of voluntary work, especially in a Church environment, it's absolutely essential that this lesson be learnt and an attempt made to try to just step back and look at the bigger picture.