Sunday, May 25, 2014

Quotable + Commentary

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved" - Kerouac

This is about me. I find small talk very difficult, though I engage in it with some success as long as I'm not trying to do too much all at once. Example: my dance teacher likes to talk to me and my wife while we are dancing, creating distraction to help our dance techniques become muscle memory. She must be incredibly frustrated with me because I find talking about 'how my day went' and things of this nature incredibly difficult. I stammer, I forget what I'm doing or what the heck I'm saying. It takes some mental EFFORT to think about these things, and to respond in the way people want.

Then the other day she asked me about my job, and I opened up about what it is like to be a minister, particularly to youth and young adults. I found it incredibly EASY to talk about these things while dancing. It flowed from me naturally. It takes little effort for me to talk about meaning, about the suffering of human beings and how to alleviate it, about the Bible or vulnerability or God or theology or philosophy. This stuff is as natural to me as breathing. It sustains me. 

Yet people who live inside their own heads are equally difficult for me to be around. I don't understand people who don't want to get involved with other people. However painful it can be sometimes to meet people where they are (notice I did not say 'on their level' I don't think my milieu of communication is superior, it is just what I'm comfortable with), it is equally painful not to want to connect, however one may choose to do so. A life without connection is a life where the soul's breadth is severely curtailed. This isn't to say introversion or even shyness is a sin. But the need to be near another human being, to live in community, this is something I understand and cannot imagine being without. 

I do not understand the atheist who doesn't poignantly feel the need for God. I understand the atheist who feels that need but just can't come to believe the consequences of the feeling, but not an atheist who doesn't feel it in the first place. I don't understand not realizing how reliant you are on The Ultimate. I am confused by someone who doesn't know their own lostness, their own sinfulness, their own need for salvation.

Nor do I understand the Christian who doesn't see life as something rich and wonderful, who sees THE WORLD (in terms of all Creation) as 'fallen'. Living only for the next life makes no sense to me. It seems so obvious to me that what I do in this world matters, and that making sense of THAT is the center of all faith is about. This tension between the struggle with sin and the struggle to live and live truly may be ultimately contradictory, mad even. But it is the only madness I understand.

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