Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What the H*ll Do I Know? (Confession 5)

I have a friend going through a bit of a faith-crisis at the moment, and it really is one of those things that can make you feel completely impotent.  Not only is nearly impossible to know what to say or do, it is pretty much certain that anything you say or do will probably only make matters worse. So you're just there for them. Let them vent if they want to, or ramble, or whatever non/verbal processing they might tend toward. And maybe, if the situation calls for it, you share what you actually know.

But what do you actually know?

And what do I actually know? So, where do I get off telling anyone else what their faith should be?

But, do I just leave it there? Let a friend languish? I have a hard time swallowing that pill.  I think we should have a hard time with it.  And I think how we handle it is key--and I think the place where we really go wrong is where we start offering up loads of junk that we don't personally know, in favor of churchy things we think sound right.

I think we go through seasons where our faith gets stripped down, like a sports car left in the wrong part of town.  Maybe we parked ourselves in the wrong place, and it left us vulnerable. Maybe it was time for a tune up. I don't know why these things happen really, but I have noticed a pattern in my own life, and the lives of people close to me.  We go through these seasons that get terribly uncomfortable, and we come out on the other side with a faith that is universally different.  Sometimes we even have to go through a little bit of Hell to do it.

I did.

I stood on the outside of a very clear boundary, looking in on God and his chosen people, and I was not one of them. I was not welcome, I was not included. I was not accepted. I was not chosen.  That is the Hell that I've known.

And what have I learned?  A lot more than I could ever put here.  And I've also learned that the first thing isn't to open my mouth and tell my hurting friend what they just have to know, so they can be fixed.  Maybe the best thing I can offer is an open ear and a shut mouth.  And my prayers. I'll do that too.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Birthday in LA

In case any of you were wondering if I've adjusted from Idaho to Los Angeles, here's a fun 80's music video to answer you question.  Or maybe, I was just looking for an excuse to post this. Either way, we're headed out on the town for a "hot time in the city" and we'll be running around the city almost as much as Randy Newman did when he made this video.  At least our adventure will contain far less new-wave T&A--hopefully.  (I guess the consoling thought is that not even the girls in the video look like the girls in the video anymore?)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Surprises at a "certain age"

Have you reached the "certain age" where you still consider yourself young and hip, but things cross your mind or come out of your mouth that you never expected --- at least not while you were still young and hip?  I've begun to collect some as they occur to my friends and me.  Here's what we have so far:
  • while walking down the sidewalk you happen to notice a man, and think to yourself, "He's attractive".  Then you notice his bald-spot.  Then you realize that noticing his bald spot has had no effect on your initial assessment.  You still find him attractive.
  • your friend is excited about her new cell phone has the perfect timer app to facilitate time-outs for her two-year old.
  • you put "chores" in your weekly schedule, and having a set-aside time for them is a relief, not a punishment. 
  • Guys you know are already planning how they will intimidate the future suitors of their daughters (years in advance). Having forgotten how intimidating the fathers of girls they dated were, and how they swore to never be that mean when they got "old".
  • the occasional excitement over the possibility of having the time and freedom for a nap. 
  • double-fisting coffee is more impressive (or pitiful, take your pick) than double-fisting alcohol.  Either way, it is more common. 
  • more of your friends plan their day, specifically their meals, around special dietary considerations... Soy Latte, anyone?
  • You realize that the phrase "settled down" might have always been code for "my butt got big, and I'm too busy to do anything about it"
  • someone in their early twenties calls 80's music "oldies"
  • you start looking for ways to defend 31 as the new 21
What would you add?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Who are you attracting?

There's a New Age guru following me on twitter.

When I discovered this, I actually laughed out loud. Not that his beliefs are funny to me; but simply, I didn't see that one coming.  Somehow this person found me and decided that there was some kind of value or benefit even, in clicking the follow button on my profile. There's a myriad of reasons he could have done this, many of which have nothing to do with who I am, or what I've been saying on the internet--so I'm not going to be so arrogant as to think that I am going to be the key to some profound things in his life via my excellent tweets.

In fact, when I noticed this, two voices popped into my head.  One was a groovy, deadheadesque lifestyle evangelist who said "Nice, you're light in the darkness, salt to the world." The other voice was something like Dana Carvey's Church Lady, accusing me that a guru such as this may follow me because he is under the impression that we are alike.

Perhaps both little voices have an element of truth in them, and that's something I will be praying about.  But the whole thing leads me to ask myself, who am I attracting to become a part of my circles of influence? I think it's good to have a variety.