I get so overwhelmed and disgusted.
Last year, when I worked full-time for a journalism school, I kept on top of everything going on in the world. I read three or four newspapers every day, plus I read dozens of stories from all over the world pertaining to religion that I found on the Revealer or Christianity Today's weblog. I cared deeply about the election (there's some wasted energy) and about the future of our country, our planet, our faith. I even stopped eating animals, both for health, and also because I was sick of the violence it perpetuated. And I went to seminary because I cared about these things.
Now I am tired. I tried to look at the CT blog and it's still the same issues (ex-gay therapy, Anglican split, oh, here's a new one - the Southern Baptists have lifted their ban on Disney - lots of good I'm sure that did). I used to find world politics fascinating - now I find it depressing. I loved following American politics too - now it's veering so far from reality that it just pisses me off.
Sadly, I want to retreat into the ivory tower. I want to bury myself in my books and studies. Is the world going to care anyway? And what is the church's role in all this? It's so confused. What are we really supposed to be doing? I mean, what will actually advance the kingdom of God?
I do my homework and my job and go to class and when I get to rest I either read more about Christianity or, God help me, I watch reality television. At least that Kitchen show. And the one about being a Hilton. And the Beauty and the Geek (that one is actually very sweet - it's all these people learning to look past surface appearances). And the home makeover show, which makes me cry every time. I also have been escaping into movies. I bought Luther, Saved!, and Simone the other day. Man, that Saved is freaking hilarious.
I guess I did read the book about Iran (and have subsequently found myself reading everything I can about their recent "election"). Despite my best efforts, any honest attempt to discover some kind of truth about the world will, inevitably, lead me back to facing the world, and its problems, and my own inadequacy and fear and compassion.
You know what I want to do? Eat a pizza and move to Paris. How's that for indulgence? *sigh* We are just not called to such luxuries. But I am tired. Sometimes caring so much makes you so. I think JC knew that.
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There's something about theology that's just so intense, it demands compensatory action. Thankfully I've avoided most reality TV but on the other hand, there's this blogging thing, and the endless DVDs from Netflix. And the sci-fi from the local library. I tell myself it's okay because the blogs are religious and the sci fi counts as dissertation research...but it's really just giving in to the need to relax the old synapses a bit. And really that's okay. Honestly, how much time can we spend contemplating the mystery without going wiggy? How much time can we spend agonizing over the lostness of the world without losing it? Grab that pizza, get a French movie (unless you can swing that trip to Paris?) and a bottle of wine...and just let it go for a night..."joy cometh in the morning," or at least, strength to pick it all back up again.
yes, yes, and yes! it's easy to become overwhelmed. i don't know how one can stay abreast of everything going on and not be depressed and or crazy. oh, yeah, that's why i study theology! God is the one shining beacon. jeez, corny and preachy--ick!:>)
keep on, keepin on. we need your voice to point us to the light. hopefully, when you're tired and exhausted someone else's voice whether its found in reality tv, sci fi, or harry potter (can hardly stand the wait myself!) to point you back to God's light.
Lady, I know what you mean. It really can be discouragingn to care so much about political things only to realize that sometimes you can't change the outcome. I'm really interested in the Iran election too. What book was it that you read?
Reading Lolita in Tehran, which I am now writing a paper about. It will be what insights from the Writings of the Scriptures (the Wisdom books, history books, etc - the stuff in the Old Testament that's not Penteteuch or Prophets) we can bring to a book like "Reading Lolita" and a movie about similar circumstances, "The Piano."
Interesting paper. I really enjoyed "Reading Lolita" also. I actually just blogged the other day about the similarities that I noticed between the fundamentalism in Iran and fundamentalist right-wingers in the US.
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