Sunday, March 14, 2004

Jason and I went and saw "Hidalgo" this afternoon. Viggo and Hidalgo were good, but the movie was too long. The movie could have been half as long and twice as good. I would have left out the whole "Sheik's daughter gets kidnapped" subplot, too. BORING. But Viggo was good. He's a good actor. Actually, I think that's the sign of a truly good actor, when you find yourself saying, "That movie sucked, but ________ was good!" Like Johnny Depp in "Ed Wood." I really wanted to like that movie, but didn't. But Johnny was good!

One part that was funny (and shouldn't have been) was when Frank Hopkins has to sauter Hidalgo's flesh wound with a red hot knife. Jason turned to me and said, "You think that Squirrel would ever let us do that?" I can't even trim that damn chihuahua's toenails. He throws an absolute fit and starts crying. It struck me as funny.

I've got a very sweet little white kitty laying beside me with her furry tummy in the air, purring. It's very nice.

"Entertainment Tonight" is on right now. They are showing a piece about J.Lo and Ben Affleck. They've been broken up for several months now and the media is still reporting on them. Now it's "What's going to happen to the pink diamond ring? We can't go on without knowing WHAT is going to happen to the pink diamond ring!!!!" Bizarre.

I hung out with Shelley for awhile last Friday, on my first Friday off (hoorah!). We ended up talking about our spiritual lives (as usual--actually, our favorite topics are sucky churches, our own human failings, crazy and/or abandoning mothers, writing, and our spiritual lives....not necessarily in that order.) So anyway, all weekend, I have been feeling emotionally and spiritually funky. That's the only way to describe it. Spiritually funky. I started thinking about my spiritual life...which is actually kind of a funny way to put it. I don't have spirituality sectioned off away from other parts of my life. I should just say my life. It's all wrapped up in there together. So far, though, my spiritual life (i.e. life) has had three phases. The first is the period from when I accepted Jesus at camp right before high school. I had grown up knowing all about Jesus and his life, but it finally clicked at camp that summer. My life and my heart changed from that point on. But then I went back to the real world, where I had very few friends who were "there" with me. I didn't have any guidance. The churches that I had grown up in had never mentioned salvation. I sort of swam upstream silently, through high school and college....being a Christian, but not really knowing what to do with it.

Then, right before I went to Italy for my Junior year, my friend Khrisslyn gave me the book, "My Upmost For His Highest" (this was way before it was so popular and translated into modern English.) I read that book every day that next year, the hardest year of my life. Then I read the book "Mere Christianity" by C.S.Lewis. Those two books prepared me for the turning point in my life...working as a camp counselor at the same camp that I got saved at. Suddenly, for the first time in my entire life, my life was filled with the evangelical world. Christian friends who showed me new music, books, songs that I never even knew existed. It was a whole new world that I dove straight was like a draught was over and I was flooded. Enter Phase Two.

When you are a new Christian (and I wasn't exactly new, but it felt like it), sometimes you can be a bit overzealous. As I stated before, I got rid of all my "harmful" music, I went to church every single Sunday, I sang those Praise and Worship songs at the top of my little lungs, I probably offended some of my non-Christian friends back at college. I remember this one time, I was with my friend Mindy in the car, listening to Newsboys loudly. One song, "Breakfast" has the chorus "They don't serve breakfast in hell." Stupid Ellen. Of course she was offended at that. But I was new and I was probably more insensitive than I care to recount.

So Phase Two lasted quite awhile. I went back after college and became the full-time registrar at the camp, then quit and did several other things--tanning bed operator, video clerk, preschool teacher, medical records person at an OBGYN. I even worked at the Walmart home office for two days. (Don't even get me started with that.) Then I started working at my current company, which makes Christian cards. Enter Phase Three.

I don't know if it was the constant Christian evangelical culture or just that I was already burnt out, but I dropped off the team. I found myself getting angry at the evangelical culture to the point where I couldn't go to church anymore. I couldn't even sit through a prayer meeting at our work. I stopped being a team player. I was irritated with the same worship songs played over and over and over. (Everyone here knows my feelings on "Standing Up" to sing.) I was overwhelmed by the hypocriticalness of it all. The same people that I was thanking God for bringing into my life, suddenly grated on me. I stopped listening to the music, reading the Max Lucado books and hurling Veggie Tales stuffed cucumbers at passing trucks. I found myself hanging with the "fringers." Those of us who cling to what/who we love--Jesus--but can't seem to stomach the rest of it. You will see us on the back pew, rolling our eyes, scoffing at the jubulent. "What fakers," we say. Even as we are secretly longing to still have what they have. That fire. That passion. My passion just burned out for the Christian culture, not my passion and love for Jesus.

But I'm changing again. I'm entering Phase Four, I guess. The truth is, I need these people. They are imperfect, rotten sinners, but they are MY imperfect rotten sinners. I want to join the team, again, I think. Hesitantly, yes. Humbly, yes. But I want to join. And I want to start reading my Bible again. And most of all, I want to grow up. Stop stamping my feet saying, "It's not fair!" and "Why can't everyone be like me?!" I've done it for long enough. I think it was my rebellious teenager phase.

Wow. I totally didn't mean for this to be this long. Jason is looking at me, worried, that I am writing mean things about him.


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