Dark Knight of the Soul Christianity
My wife used to call me a “dark knight of the soul Christian” because I was always miserable. At the time, I didn’t know what my issue was, but I knew my Christian-longings weren’t satiated. Looming over my existence was an itch that all the Theological readings and Christian activity couldn’t scratch (yet, where else could I go? I knew Jesus has the words of life (none of that lame “deconstruction” stuff for me). So. I just sort of white-knuckled my way through my Christian life. I was on the losing end of the so-called “victorious Christian life.”
The Optimal Piety of Being Busy?
I wanted to be a “serious Christian” or an “awesome Christian” (whatever that means). I wanted optimal piety. “Radical Spirituality.” To be “on fire for Jesus.” Therefore, I did what modern evangelicalism tells us to do: I got busy. Got busy doing all manner of Christian activity. I’d read Christian books. Read my Bible. Sharpen my Greek. Have “Gospel conversations.” Evangelize. Etc. As long as I was busy doing Christian-stuff I felt ultra-Christian (or at least I convinced myself for a while I was). But, not content with the limited opportunities of evangelizing to thus validate my Christianity, I realized I had to be in the business of being a professional Christian. To feel I was firing on all spiritual cylinders being a pastor or an academic seemed the only spiritual option. But, lo, I wasn’t smart enough to be a pastor or an academic, nor did I want to. Woe was me. Dark knight of the soul indeed.
Heaven When I die, but What About Now?
“What about the other 90% of my life that isn’t Sunday or Bible reading times? Does anything count for my Christianity?” “Is there more to my life than just the afterlife?” “Is the goal of life to just wait til’ I die and my soul gets carried away to Heaven (and grab as many people as I can before they die)?” “Does God care about good carne asada? What about when I take a poop? Is there anything Christian about taking a dump? What hath the Lord to do with the fact that I really like watermelon when topped with limes and Tajin? Is there anything divine or spiritual about when Im falling asleep and Im just sitting there not thinking anything good or bad, Im just thinking about how I need to remember that I left my wallet in glovebox?”
These are the questions that ruined my Christian life. They ruined it because they weren’t, or so I thought, “Christian.” For all my desire to, I just couldn’t squeeze Jesus into all these scenarios.
All that to say, Christianity was a bummer – I was bummed and “true spirituality” eluded me.
The Morning Star Rising in My Heart
But one day, while working at my boring and unspiritual “secular” job, on a very normal and very mundane day – something finally happened. Like the morning start rising in my heart – something was brooding.
I had to use the restroom, so I headed to the common area and took a leak. When I peed, some pee landed on the seat, and I thought to myself “should I wipe that off?” Before I even formed the question in my mind, I knew the answer! And it was that answer, and the joy that came with it, I will share with you on the next installment.
Part 2 “The Piety of Pissing on the Toilet Seat” forthcoming.