29.11.07

Conflict - Jesus Army Life

photo by YanivG of flickr.comConflict is interesting stuff. I'm not talking about the all out war, shouting in your face kind of conflict. I'm talking about the slightly tense, vibey atmosphere, not seeing eye to eye kind of conflict. How does love deal with that? It's not easy to return love when you are the focus of the antagonism.

I guess you keep a clear head, choose to love and do your best to work out the problem.

I don't mind conflict. Creative tension can be, well, creative. I don't always cope with it well but it doesn't particularly scare me. The trouble is that you don't always see it coming do you? If you know it's coming you can meet it head on but when it catches you unawares it can be an entirely different matter.

("Did he just say that to me? No, surely he didn't mean it that way. Perhaps he did? What's he getting at? Have I upset him? I'm still calm, why isn't he?") By the time I've been through this thought process I'm often well and truly on the defensive and so much on the back foot that I feel like I've just done a few rounds with a professional boxer. It usually takes a bit of courage to throw myself back into the ring.

Now I freely admit I've got my blind spots but you get the point...

I'm not referring to any situation in particular. We all fall out with people now and again - I guess I just find it interesting that often the only way to resolve an issue is by getting riled up first. Isn't there a more easy going relaxed way to do this stuff? Can't colleagues/friends trust each other?... Why not?

Some people seem to spend their life dealing with situations by getting angry about them, others can't seem to even trust someone until they've fallen out with them first. I admire people who adequately express their anger, there are justifiable situations where it's necessary to do so, I'm just not sure how much unnecessary upset is really about the spirit of peace.

I mean has anyone really meditated on what Jesus meant by being peacemakers? The glib answers don't help - I can imagine many scenarios where establishing peace actually does require a bit of vehemence first (what else is justice about if not caring enough to get annoyed about it?) but often there just seems to be so much selfishness involved...

photo by YanivG of flickr.com