Wednesday, January 12, 2011

True North

"They always throw around this term 'the liberal elite.' And I kept thinking to myself about the Christian right...What's more elite than believing that only you will go to heaven?" -Jon Stewart
She is brilliant and beautiful and smart.  One of the sweetest people I know.  And she is a runaway.  Maybe a better term would be a refugee, from Christianity.  And the thing is I understand at a gut level where she comes from when she says her religion is love.  
And I understand where her path will take her in the end if it continues.  To emptiness.  Because men can never fill you, and romance will not be a true north in this dirty world.  Sometimes I wake up in the morning though and look in the mirror and I know that only fingernails keep me hanging onto faith and the narrow path gets pretty darn steep sometimes.  
It's not elite, though to speak the truth.  And the point that Christians as a whole have missed is that it doesn't make us better than the rest of the world to say we are going to heaven, it should make us try as urgently as possible to get the rest of the world to go with us.  If the God we follow defines himself as LOVE, somewhere along the way that's gotten buried under tons of rubble.  The rubble of pride and arrogance and the forgotten realization when each of us looks in the mirror that we are capable of all the sins of the 10 commandments; and we commit them often.  
The truth is that the earth is f***ed up.  To pretend otherwise and try to make it otherwise usually ends in disillusion.  We are F-d up.  The only force that truly changes a human being from the inside out is love.  the LOVE.  
This chapter in Isaiah haunts me:
Why spend money on what is not bread,
   and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
   and you will delight in the richest of fare.
3 Give ear and come to me;
   listen, that you may live. 
It just makes me unutterably sad and angry and yet it's a good gut check for me too.  Because I have days where I want to quit.  And seek love where I can find it under my own definitions.  But then I remember my true north. And keep climbing.

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