“There is in the human race some dark spirit of recalcitrance, always pulling us in the direction contrary to which we are reasonably expected to go..”― Max Beerhbohm – English Essayist
Tomorrow marks one year since the Riot at our Nation’s Capitol. America’s great socio-political divide was further exposed on that day. Some claimed the uprising was an expression of patriotism, while others believed they were watching a horrifying display of defiance and recalcitrance. RECALCITRANT means having an obstinately uncooperative attitude toward authority or discipline. The Latin word means ‘kicking out with the heels.’ Synonyms are obstinate, ungovernable, insubordinate, headstrong, and bloody-minded. Across the world, people watched aghast as the “United States” looked anything but unified. Not only the building but one of our most sacred governmental institutions—our Congress, was stormed. Our government’s leaders and those called to protect and serve them were endangered. Whatever the motive or intent of the rioters or anarchists depending on your viewpoint may have been, five people died and hundreds were injured including 138 police officers. Hearings are still be held to unpack this sad and troubling tragedy that is now history, to find the truth, and dispense justice.
Sometimes it takes Divine Intervention to confront our recalcitrance. I can’t help but think of Saul before he was met by Jesus with a blinding light on the Damascus Road. He was zealously persecuting and killing Christ’s followers, including Stephen one of the first deacons. You couldn’t tell Saul he was wrong. He thought He was doing God a service. In fact, Saul just KNEW he was right and righteous…until he found out he wasn’t. Saul was so far into his stubborn, recalcitrant state that he couldn’t even recognize the God he was claiming to serve and represent. Acts 9:5, KJV records, “And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.” Jesus was saying, you’re fighting a losing battle here with the bull-headedness buddy. You can keep resisting, but ultimately I’m going to win. These days it’s easy to point fingers at each other and say, “You (insert label here)…you’re the problem with this Country, this church, this marriage/family, this workplace.” It’s a little harder to allow God to reveal the recalcitrant traits in our own hearts…and there are some in all of us.