Monday, June 3, 2013

Dating the Lord...

William Blake [Public domain or Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
By "dating," I don't mean putting a time stamp on Him, but "dating" as in "going out on a date." Sort of.

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.


31 comments:

  1. You wrote this entire post from a phone? Wow. I'm almost as surprised as by the knowledge you're a practicing Catholic.
    I hope your flight goes well and you get home safe and sound. :-'0

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    1. Yeah, I was half out-of-it as I manipulated the keyboard on my phone, but I did type this sucker out on it (in a Word doc), at the airport. Think it took me about an hour to get it all out. E-mailed doc to self, tweaked it last night before scheduling it to post. So I made it home, yay!!! (And yay for Xanax, else I'd jump outta my skin every time we hit a patch of turbulence!) :-D

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  2. You're never too old for Uranus/Your Anus in my opinion! ;)

    I'm not a member of any religion, although, I guess you'd say I have enormous spiritual curiosity. I have hope rather faith, but I do definitely like the idea of a God who is a "pretty groovy Dude" with an "expansive love".

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    1. I get you on the having "hope" vs "faith." I go through (many) moments like that, for realz.

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  3. I'm married to a Catholic, and out of curiosity, when first going out with each other I decided to attend Sunday mass with her and did so for an entire year. I'm still agnostic and happy to be so. So long as folks don't try to ram their chosen faith/religion down my throat, I'm good.

    But I am, however, biblically impressed that you did this post on a Nokia. Kudos, madam. If I had a hat, I'd be taking it off to you :)

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    1. Thank you, sir. I'll take the hat-removal as read. :-) And kudos to you, for checking out your lady's faith. I rather feel that all the different faiths are simply different facets, or expressions, of the one God. And I have a lot of respect for how folks approach (or don't approach) faith. We have to go with what feels right to our hearts, whether that means belief or not.

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  4. I really get what you're saying. Although I'm protestant, I think we all face the same sort of issues with faith. And yes, it does ebb and flow.

    As long as we keep working at it, we've won half the battle. :-)

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    1. Thanks, Misha. It helps to know I'm not alone in the struggle! :-)

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  5. Tee hee hee you said 'Uranus'. See what I got from your thoughtful blog post? lol

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  6. I'm a practicing Taoist. It's a different approach, but the way I figure it most of us spiritual folks are trying to tap into the same Big Holy. Since the Big Holy is so abundant, it's easy to feel that our efforts are inadequate.

    An example: I don't belong to a temple. Rather, I maintain my own small shrine. A while back I was feeling a little low because I wasn't being as diligent as I could be about maintaining my alter. I did what I usually do, and asked for guidance on this topic. The message I got back was that you don't add to Spirit through worship, prayer, or ritual. That's impossible. So if you slip, the only impact is on you (in feeling disconnected, or whatever). In other words: no big deal. The Big Holy knows we'll get around to it when we're able. Don't know if that helps. It certainly helped me.

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    1. ^Exactly that. I agree that we're all tapping into the same Big Holy. And it really warms my heart to know y'all are tapping with me. :)

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  7. That fact that you sound coherent after your traveling ordeal and you're dedicating your 200th post *WOW* to the big guy = that in itself is impressive *to me and, undeniably, to God* Everyone worships in their own, personal, unique way! Congrats on reaching this posting milestone *sending you virtual bottles of wine* and a "Sign of Peace" from one catholic to another:)
    Cheers!
    WriterlySam

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    1. Thanks so much, Samantha! And peace to you as well! :)

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  8. Yep. I'm sailing on the same ship of Catholic Inconsistency. Some Sundays, yes! Some Sundays, no. I wish you well with your quest!!! I'll keep trying, too.

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    1. Rock on, Rocky! And safe spiritual journey to you, too! :)

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  9. Your closing line pretty much encompasses my own belief about God. I'm not Catholic, not even Christian, but I certainly identify myself with that sentence. Very good. :)

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    1. Thanks, Al. I've often seen a deep well of spirituality in your writing. There's a touch of the mystic in you, methinks. :)

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  10. This was an awesome post! Kudos! I pray that this finds you well.

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  11. Ebbs and flows like a tidal wave, Mina! There is no such thing as a perfect catholic, btw. And if anyone tells you there is or they are one, run the other way as fast as you can!

    All I know for sure is that God loves us more than we'll ever know, and it's so much that even if we could figure out how much, we'd never be able to grasp it.

    I truly don't know what else to say. Your post surprised me - in a good way. Thank you for following my blog and sharing it with others, Mina.

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    1. It's been a pleasure to, MJ. Only look at the lovely conversations above that your post inspired! :-)

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    2. Have to admit, they're fun to read. Thanks to all of you for commenting on this post and weighing in on this intriguing conversation :)

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  12. Yeah, I get all kinds of work done while waiting in airports, so I relate. I also relate to the spiritual ebb and flow. I was raised a Quaker, which has many similarities to meditation. Still go to meeting, now and then. It's all good.

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    1. Man, I was pretty miserable about how little sleep I got that morning but being stuck at the airport all by my lonesome sure forced me to get my work done! :-)

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  13. Wait... Jump. Back. Did you write this on your phone?! Is that what I'm reading?? Because then you are MY God. I can barely do it on a fully functioning laptop!

    I tip my hat to you!

    Hugs!

    Valerie

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    1. Well, OK. Just don't sacrifice any virgins on my altar, they don't know what the hell they're doing. ;-)

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  14. This was an unexpected post, and I loved it. Since I am a devoted Catholic, I loved your final line. God is pretty groovy in my eyes, and is only a whisper or thought away.

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    1. Thanks, Cathrina. I really appreciate the kind words and support.

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