|William Blake [Public domain or Public domain],|
via Wikimedia Commons
Allow me to explain something before I go on. I got fewer than four hours of sleep last night and am typing this, my 200th blog post (W00T!), on my Nokia Windows phone at 6:56am on Saturday, June 1. I've been up since 3am and have been cooling my jets at Denver International airport since about 4:30-ish. I may be slightly delirious.
Anyway, as I've been traveling for work this week, sans laptop or regular access to the Interwebs, now that I've got all this damned time on my hands before my flight (not because of delays, but because my ride to the airport—a former colleague who attended the same conference I did—is, frankly, a masochist who routinely takes 6am flights, whereas I opt for saner, more humane mid-morning flights. I love him like a brother but that mofo is cray), I'm whiling away the hours before my 10:45 flight by trying to catch up with the dub-dub-dubs a bit.
So I was just reading a blog post by M.J. Joachim at Being Catholic. I discovered her blog through A to Z and, as a striving Catholic myself, enjoy following her thoughts on living the Word in this 21st century world. (I know—a Goth chick with the mouth of a drunken sailor on leave, whose one-track mind travels the bullet train to Lust Land regularly, isn't exactly a poster child for Religion. All I can say in response is that, biblically, God frequently chose the rascals and outright scoundrels to serve Him, so I reckon I'm in good company.)
Uh...what was I saying?
Oh, right; M.J. recently posted about what it means to keep holy the Sabbath day. Essentially, she writes that it's not about blind obedience to doctrine or following through on a habit, but, simply, about loving the Lord.
Now, if any of y'all are people of faith, you may possibly be able to relate when I tell you that my faith flows and ebbs like the ocean. There are times when I feel this almost tangible connection to God the Father, Son, & Holy Spirit and I walk to Mass with a literal bounce in my step 'cause I'm so totally stoked to hang out with my holy Homies, sing my fave hymns, and exchange the Sign of Peace with my fellow parishioners (one of the best bits of Mass, IMO). But quite often I'm just sooooo not in the mood, and even wonder if it's only fear of pissing off the Almighty which inspires me to go church. And of course, I suffer from doubts as to whether there's even any point to going, because maybe all this Jesus jazz is just a big cosmic version of Punk'd being viewed by space critters on Uranus. (On your anus.) (You'd think that, at 42, I'd have long outgrown my love of such juvenile humor.) (Clearly, I haven't.)
A while back, when I'd blown off Mass for several weeks in a row and felt really shitty about it, I got to thinking about the many comparisons made in the bible of God's relationship to His church being like that of a groom to his bride—a deep intimacy in which we (the bride) desperately seek to be thoroughly possessed and ravished by God (the groom). (If you're a regular reader of mine, you may easily grasp how much this imagery revs my motor. And before you get all wigged out, know that many, many others before me have viewed total communion with God in this way. Just as a quick, if not perfect, reference, I'd point you to Holy Sonnet XIV (Batter my heart, three person'd God) by John Donne.) (W00F.)
Right, so...from this bridal couple idea, I mused on the way we seek to please our significant others through various acts of love. You know, you go see that lame movie you'd not go to in a million years because your guy really digs that genre. Or you go on a double date with your gal's BFF/her annoying boyfriend after a loooooooong workday when all you really have the energy for is a six-pack and a pizza. Or you remember that your love's car is parked on the side of the street that's slated for cleaning first thing in the morning so you roll out of bed in the wee hours of the night to move it. And, you know, you get the warm and fuzzies yourself, just from doing all these loving things, right?
Well, from these thoughts, it was just a hop, skip, and electric slide for me to compare attendance at weekly Mass to dating God. This comparison works for me because when I luuuuurve a guy, I really can't do enough for him. I ache to be with him, I yearn for a connection so deep that there's no room for anyone or anything else to come between us. And that's how I feel about God, really. Or that's the way I strive to feel, when the tap of righteousness isn't flowing freely.
I can't claim to be the perfect date, though. I still don't always make it to Mass on the weekends. But I reach out to him every day, to let Him know He's on my mind. And I know I don't always get things right, but I aim to, for Love's sake. I'm not sure what He makes of all this, of me and my admittedly unorthodox ways of adoring Him. I tend to think, though, that He's a pretty groovy Dude whose expansive love can translate every expression of it from me, no matter how garbled.