Am I the only one who gets these moods? The moods where you just can’t be bothered to care? Where you’d rather claw your own eyes out than read the Bible, rather chew tinfoil than pray?
‘Cause I get these moods, oh, about once a month or more.
Got one right now, as a matter of fact. And the first person to say ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ is going to make me scream.
I’m guessing we all get the mixed messages. I can’t be the only one who has difficulty with the whole, “Be in the world, not of it” deal. I cannot be the only person whose paternal parental unit can in one breath insist that staying home on Saturday nights playing video games isn’t healthy, and in the next say that I go out too much, right?
Actually, given my parental units, it is entirely possible that last bit is a Just Me moment. Since the ‘going out’ is referent to my going to church. It’s not like my parental units are nonreligious, not by any stretch of the imagination. They’re just… well, California Methodist.
I’m not dissing the Methodist Church, by any stretch of the imagination. It’s the church that I was raised in, that taught me how to have faith, and how to hold on to it through many trials and tribulations. Without Camp Cazadero, I would probably be dead by my own hand (long story, remind me to tell you it later, and Rex Anthony Manson, if you’re reading this, email me!)
However, my mother is a very angry, lapsed Roman Catholic. And pretty vocal, in a passive aggresive way, about her disapproval of my religious tendencies.
*rereads that last sentence* Confusing, and contradictory. But true. I accidentally left a rosary at their house over Christmas. She sent it back to me wrapped in a pair of underwear. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, maybe she was trying to protect it in shipping. It was a padded envelope. When I get to talking ‘too much’ about church-y stuff, they tell me I’m turning into my Auntie. The Auntie who’s single, missing teeth, and a bitter, violently hate-filled Conservative Fundamentalist Non-Denominational We’re The One True Church Christian.
Yes, I know I’m bitter right now, but, um… I’m not fundamentalist! And I have all my own teef.
So, I’m being pushed to go out Saturday night to a bar with my just-turned-21 cousin and introduce Cousin to the world of drinking. As it will be a late night, they’re expecting me to skip church.
Um, no. I’ll do just what I usually do, when I’m going out or playing Halo 2 all night: stay up all night and sleep on Sunday. The Sabbath Naps are holy to my people.
And so, in the midst of all this tension, I’m dragging my heels and gnashing my teeth and taking down my icon wall so as not to give offense and I really, really, REALLY don’t want to go read Compline. But Deacon Chata* today preached on how, when Jesus said ‘pick up your cross and follow Me’, he wasn’t talking about the slings and arrows of life that we call our ‘crosses’. Our cross is following Someone who is decidedly counter-culture, who calls us to be counter-culture. Which means I will be going out Saturday night, having a drink with my Cousin and Sister but not getting stupid-drunk, and then go to A Certain Church on Sunday morning.
It also means I’m going to go pray Compline now.
Lord, you now have set your servant free
to go in peace as you have promised;
For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior,
whom you have prepared for all the world to see:
A Light to enlighten the nations,
and the glory of your people Israel.
*’Chata’ is Spanish for ‘flat-nosed’. Our deacon shares the same name with my Auntie Chata, and they’re almost the same height (read: way shorter than my shortness), so she’s now Deacon Chata.