Something is not right with me! Something is not right with me! Something is not right with me! How was I supposed to know?
If you’re a faithful patron of The Diner, you’re well aware of two consistent personal themes: First, I lead a charmed life. Second, I’m continually feeling far afield from my fellow man. Sometimes I’m overwhelmed by the vanilla of the former. Other times I’m bewildered by the chocolate of the latter. Most of the time it’s a swirl. Anytime you can make a life analogy with a 3-lever soft-serve ice cream dispenser, more the better.
Generally, I’m enmeshed in, but not insensitive to, the vanilla former. My wife carries a load of laundry through the living room and the first thought in my brain is how beautiful she is. Kid1 will text me and ask for an update on the Texas Rangers game she’s not able to see. Kid2 will be excited about the French manicure she got for prom. The dog will get all excited about going to get the newspaper. The newspaper will be there (and 2 are there on Sundays!). I have a home filled with personal and professional noise that gives it life. My home, which I jokingly refer to as being located in the ‘hood of Flower Mound, is more than most in my line of work ever get.
In short, my world is one full of love, cable television, SUV’s (so nice to be past the minivan stage), newspaper delivery and meaning. I ain’t missing any meals or victimized by genocide or having my livelihood threatened by corporate oil company mistakes or typing “billion” instead of “million.”
And I didn’t even bring up the Greatest Gift. I’m working with the reality that you understand that is understood.
And I didn’t even bring up my sister or in-laws or nieces and nephews.
And I didn’t even bring up my friends…Facebook or otherwise.
Specifically, I’m surrounded by, but not impervious to, the chocolate latter. I won’t bore you with a list of observations regarding suburban homogeneity, the rat race, the gridlock, the misplaced dependencies, the unrealistic expectations, the lack of creativity/vision, helicopter parents, the state of The Church in America, et al, ad infinitum. All these (and oh so many more) cause (in the words of Mike Ness of Social Distortion) “Uninvited feelings. They come without warning and stay too long.” Anytime you can quote a punk band, more the better.
In short, my world can be full of apathy, misunderstanding, unrealistically high expectations (the spiritual formation business never ends), boredom and confusion. I’m looking at conformity and intellectual laziness and putting God in a box by biblical illiteracy and presupposition and pursuit of a life that ends up in an ash heap.
And I didn’t even bring up the times when I feel unloved and distant from the God who supposedly loves me and has a wonderful plan for my life. I’m working with the reality that you understand that I understand feelings aren’t necessarily truth.
And I didn’t even bring up feeling like you’re on an island all by yourself even when you’re surrounded by the most loving people you know.
And I didn’t even bring up the accrued disillusionment from my own unrealistic expectations and misplaced dependencies from my Tribe over the years, which I won’t bother to list.
Today, the lever I pulled is the chocolate latter.
I’d have preferred the vanilla former.
Or even a swirl.
Suffice to say the annual springtime funk arrived this year with a vengeance.
Should I apologize in advance to the patronage for the transparency?
No matter. I’m hitting “publish post” anyway.