What to do with an unyielding son?
… I’ll let you know if I ever figure it out …
This was all the rage prior to my senior year of marching. Ah, the memories.
…no more publishing melancholy blog posts before going sleepy, sleepy.
Perhaps the most irrelevant market in the world is Christian Television. Right behind that is Christian Radio. I can’t stand either. If I were old and bedridden, perhaps I might be able to appreciate it, but I suspect even more so it would encourage me to be more angry at my local parish.
But nevermind that. That’s not why I’m venting about Christian Radio today. Nevermind, too, that Christian Radio is more insanely bubble-gum flavored than the local teen pop radio station. Nevermind, also, that Christian Radio seems to believe that traffic doesn’t exist. Nevermind, as well, any number of laments I could get into. These are not why I’m posting about my oft time vitriolic relationship with the irrelevant market that is Christian Radio.
I’m posting because one guy on a local station is way to freaking happy. It’s disgusting. It’s like tuning in and having a 500 pound happy baby falling down on top of you, drooling and squealing like the world is the best place ever. You can hear the smile on this guy’s face. And it’s so fake. It’s utterly not in touch with the world I’m in. The world of traffic. The world of trouble. The world of need, let alone unsatisified want. This guy is happier than Jesus ever was, and it makes me want to reach through my speakers, pull the guys through to my dashboard, and smash it endlessly.
I listen to this guy for about 5 seconds. It takes me that long to realize it’s “that guy”, and by that point the blood pressure is already through the roof. So I quickly change the station. Usually to the least Christian I can find so that the loud percussion and bass and squealing guitar can drive every last vestige of “that guy” from my mind. Life resumes as normal, and I’m not troubled by that guy any more.
But the thing that really gets me beyond all that … is that I know I utterly ought not react that way to this guy. And, man, that bothers me more than how fake that guy is. A vicious cycle of aggravation and self frustration – a foolish insanity – that doesn’t seem to have an end in sight.
So, the whole goal of Lent is to, in part, suffer with Jesus. Suffer as He spent 40 days in the desert with Satan tempting Him. Suffer as He made His way to the Cross. And the way we do that is through prayer/reflection/meditation, fast, and alms giving.
Well, let it be known that (1) I am no good at all of the above (but, hey, there’s got to be some virtue of trying to make a good run at it) and (2) I am really no good at suffering.
Looking back over my Lent, I can see the stuff I gave up for my fast really didn’t matter, and the things that did matter, that were real opportunities to suffer and learn virtue, passed me by without me noticing much at the time.
What I have come to see as my real Lenten Cross for the past 8 weeks didn’t take the shape of abstaining from material or passtime. It didn’t involve me trying to be positive for myself. It involved, simply, (1) me trying to do the right thing – which I think, to some degree, I by and large did and (2) being content with the outcome, whatever that might be. Point 2, here, is where I failed, miserably.
My Lent would be kinda like Jesus, coming down from Heaven, growing up with all the crap the rest of us put up with and don’t deal with so gracefully, preaching the Good News, performing miracles, raising people from the dead, and then start whining before the Sanhedrin that they want to put Him up on the Cross. What an odd turn of a story that would have made. “Look, I’ve done everything by the Book. I’ve done everything in everyone’s best interest. But you’re just too stubborn and too proud to listen to me, to trust me, take my advice, and let me take the lead here. Well, poo on you! This is just stupid. Why couldn’t Father have given me another Sanhedrin??!!”
Yeah, that’s kinda what my Lent was like: getting up to the point where it’s going to matter most and falling to pieces. Worse yet, I was so bitter with what happened to me, that I began to conspire with others to bring down what I saw as my enemy. So, that’d be like Jesus orchestrating with the disciples a coup to take over the Sanhedrin.
Thing is, I’m still not out of the desert yet. Perhaps this is the sign I’ve been kind of expecting to tell me to move on. Find something else. I dunno. There’s a few more things I probably should let happen first.
On another note, much to my dismay, I’m putting off applying for the Diaconate for another year. Lisa has, with some good reason, become uncomfortable with the notion of our home life having to become compatible with the time formation will take let alone the time that Ministry would require. So, we’re going to try to apply next year, and hopefully by then we’ll be read such that she’ll be comfortable moving forward. If I don’t have her support, I know I will fail.
So here I am, back in blog land. Not a stellar return, but then, I don’t have much time lately, so this will have to do.
On some upbeat notes, Josh has taken to singing his prayers. It’s kinda cool. Tonight, we sang the Our Father together – that was very cool. William has graduated from commando crawling to crawling on all fours and has become very baby-chatty — which is very, very cute. Godparents, you should come and see your young babbling babe.