There is a form of sinfulness that is muted and not often talked about. At least, it’s not often talked about in terms of its comprehensiveness. There is a lifestyle of sin that is very different from those we typically think of–the rebellious teenager, the irresponsible twentysomething, the money-hungry middle ager. This lifestyle is quiet and subtle, yet it is no less dishonoring or terrible than any other. It is a lifestyle I will call “suburban rebellion.”
Suburban rebellion manifests itself all around you. You’ve seen it a great deal, but might not have connected it all together. Suburban rebellion is most often practiced, I think, by the discontented middle class of America. The group that missed the promotion, can’t afford the big stuff, and is mired in unhappiness. The marriage isn’t necessarily strained but certainly isn’t blooming. The kids are generally unappreciative. The bills pile up, and the job is unsatisfying, and there’s no real solace in sight. All there is this. No cascading high, no numbing low, just a dull roar.
The rebellion that comes from this is widespread and varied. Drivers flex their anger through a horn and a yell at the windshield. Workers subvert their bosses by endless Internet surfing and game playing. Fathers and mothers neglect their children, choosing the glow of the tv over the cultivation of the child. Anger surfaces, sometimes, but not enough to be a huge problem. Everywhere is disgruntlement, discontent, frustration, and the outworkings of such states. Complaining, badmouthing, and bellyaching fill the day, and what could have been overwhelms what might be before it ever has a chance. Think I’m crazy to suggest all this? Take a look around you. The world is displeased. Look close, and you’ll see suburban rebellion all around you. It may be hard to spot, but it’s still ugly as sin.