Sunday, October 15, 2006

The 2 X 4 of God

So I start this rather overly righteous screed (I know when I'm going over the top, but hey, it's a blog! If you can't embarass yourself there once in a while, you're gonna do it publicly some other way!), and then this book comes into the bookstore.

It's really a lovely coffee-table selection of a book, with breathtakingly beautiful pictures from all over Texas (and I love Texas; I really do. But, like Molly Ivins, I consider that a harmless affliction I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.), and pictures of people, and all in all just a lovely collection of thoughts and portraits and pictures, and about as useful as bicycle for a fish, or, well, a book for a coffee-table.

But I look through it anyway, because it has these lovely sentiments like something attributed to St. Ignatius Loyola about "for believers, no explanation is necessary; for non-believers, no explanation is possible," and I want to say, "Yeah, that's right," and only later do I think "What the hell does that mean? It's pure tautology!"

So you see my dilemma. But the book is about ordinary people who are, in their individuality and quotidian lives, really quite extraordinary. Some I agree with, some I don't, but God bless 'em all, they're obviously good people. Another one struck me, a musician whose name I don't remember, but he was quoted saying something like, "It doesn't matter whether you think God is there or not, he's there."

Well, you can see where this is going. I almost tack all this on to that post, but then I don't, and the imp of the perverse makes me publish it, and I feel all righteous and good and mickle in my wroth, and I go to bed and get up this morning and go preach a sermon for the first time in...well, so many years it hurts to think about it.

Which, it turns out, is just like riding a bicycle; natural as breathing, in other words. So then I finish the sermon and the service, first of the morning, and go to Starbucks between services (I was also scheduled to lead the prayers at the mid-morning service) where this is on my coffee cup:

The Way I See It #158
"It's tragic the way extremists co-opt the notion of God, and that hipsters and artists reject spirituality out of hand. I don't have a fixed idea of God. But I feel that it's us--the messed-up, the half-crazy, the burning, the questing--that need God, a lot more than the goody-two-shoes do."--Mike Doughty, Musician
I get it. Somebody's trying to tell me something.

Clearly, at least, I should lighten up

No comments:

Post a Comment