I have absolutely nothing to say.
No, now, wait. Y’all know me better than that. I have plenty to say, but I’m going to keep it to a bare minimum…
From the When Keeping It Spiritually Real Goes Wrong file…
Back to my pet bugbear(if I’m using that word right)…Christianity…not God, not Jesus, just Christianity…but lately, I get very irked when Christian people say things like, “God will never push you past your breaking point” when right in front of us we have an entire Bible full of people who God did exactly that to. To name a few; Paul gets chucked off his donkey, Joseph spends decades as a slave and prisoner, Job loses everything and then some, and oh yeah Jesus actually DIES. I’d call that pretty broken, wouldn’t you?
And the thing is, none of these people are fulfilled in a spiritual sense until they’re pushed to breaking and beyond. Without the break, Paul is just another bad guy, Job is a self-satisfied nobody, Joseph is a spoiled fortunate son, and worst of all, Jesus is reduced to being just another prophet. It’s not until the addition of catastrophe, loss and frustration that we get a Saviour.
Nobody ever mentioned this kind of thing when I was a starry-eyed young Christian. I wish someone had, because from the sales pitch, I thought it was going to be all guitar music and spaghetti dinners from the moment I decided to join up to this church thing. Nobody talks about the part where you ruin your Bible with tears and talk to God like you’re an outtake from The Bell Jar. Somebody needed to mention that.
But here’s where all this keeping it real goes wrong…nobody in their right mind is going to sign up to a spirituality that offers this. And to be fair, this doesn’t always happen. Just sometimes. And if someone had tried to say, y’know, it isn’t all tent meetings and DC Talk albums. Sometimes it’s just you and God and a horribly unfair world with a hard-on for destruction in the name of self-satisfaction. Sometimes being a Christian is kind of like being thrown in a mine with a flashlight and being told to search for diamonds using a two thousand year old blueprint. It’s not always like this–in fact, not even often–but sometimes it is.
Now if someone had said something like that to me when I first got into this–I probably would have wondered who peed in their breakfast cereal and written them off as a gloomy Gus, raining on my parade. Which some of you are probably doing right now.
That’s where keeping it real goes even wronger. It’s all fine and well to say well, hey, it’s not easy being green and all that, but how does one deal with those times? I have no idea. I’m going through one of those times right now, and I can honestly say, I have no idea how to handle this. The only thing that comes to mind is to just worship, trust, and let be, and to be really honest…worship takes on a very different texture then, I think. I find myself writing songs and poetry that would probably get me chased out of the local church trailing pitchforks and flaming torches. I’m not trying to be inflammatory, I’m certainly not trying to be sacriligeous(nor am I being), but I do want to be honest. With God, with myself, with my community, with random strangers who come across this on the internet…
Look, I want to be a happy, carefree, easy-on easy-off worship-song singing Christian who never asks gloomy questions and is able to just get on with Christian life, buy the books, see the movie, memorize the theme songs. But I don’t seem to be wired that way. And I don’t think that’s wrong.
~sigh~ There are so many levels to this Christian thing, and I don’t understand a single one anymore.
I guess that’s where divine relationship comes in.
I realize I’m losing a lot of you with my intermittent flights into Christian gabble, but hey. It’s all a part of the package. Stay tuned.