“I’ve come to realize my life is a collection of me feeling woozy in various locations.”
I told my roommate that as we walked into our friend’s coffee shop downtown and it’s true. You ever have days—or strings of days—from which it seems like you’ll soon wake up and return to reality?
I think pornography has drowned much of my life in a whirlpool of illusion and fantasy. Walking away from it has been very much a return to contact with reality. No longer do I hover above my life like a spectral observer, but I have returned to the full and rich experience of life, and life to the fullest, as Jesus promised us.
Life to the fullest does not subsist of some austral experience of floating. We do not float on like the musings of Modest Mouse, nor do we depart and drift away from reality like some dust in the wind.
Last summer, my favorite book ever became The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis. He writes about humans in hell clinging to things that don’t really matter in the end. They cling onto things which are noting more than vacuous mist, and when the lights come on, they are simply closing empty fists.
“Hell is a state of mind – ye never said a truer word. And every state of mind, left to itself, every shutting up of the creature within the dungeon of its own mind – is, in the end, Hell. But Heaven is not a state of mind. Heaven is reality itself. All that is fully real is Heavenly. For all that can be shaken will be shaken and only the unshakeable remains.”
No book has more thoroughly shaken me to my bones and left my skin holding on for dear life. No book has so vigorously flipped me upside down and changed the perspective from which I see life, death, and the eternal value of all things.
Do I cling to the real; the things that last, and the imperishable? Or am I merely running after shadows and fog?
I think about this as I sit in this coffee shop. I’m feeling woozier than normal today (a state in which I should probably not be publishing any sort of writing but here we are…) and my removal from reality is in full effect. It may be my roommate’s haphazard driving, or the incredible amount of caffeine I’ve ingested today.
Sometimes, as a single man passing the midpoint of his twenties, this theoretical arrangement of heaven and hell doesn’t help when all I really want is a girl with two hands for holding and at least one functioning ear to hear my rambling thoughts.
The tangibility of heaven doesn’t bring much comfort to those nights where I’m so lonely there is a physical ache and I lie in bed starved for human touch. Sometimes our mad clinging to hope in the man of Jesus Christ doesn’t feel very helpful. I think this is why so many people my age are leaving the church.
We are very, very impatient.
Sometimes as we stumble through our daily routines and forget to emerge from our shells of anxiety and fear, we miss the very real things passing us by in this temporal world.
This life only happens once so make sure your eyes are open.
I think it’s hard to look for reality and permanence in a world where time exists. Today has pretty much happened, and as I sit on this half of it, do I look back on it with joy and satisfaction? A triumphant cry of tetelestai “It is finished!”? Or do I look back on another wasted day which could have been better spent attaching myself to things and people which will last forever?
Possibly the biggest danger of a pornography addiction is the fact that it will attach you to things which will blow away. Do you want to be real? When the world is shaken and only the unshakable remains, do you want to be among the ranks of the remaining, or do you want to blow away along with the worthless things you’ve attached yourself to?
Priority lists kind of matter.
The higher something is on your priority list, the more it infiltrates the rest of your life. It preoccupies your mind and runs through your thoughts like a fawn through a wooded glen.
I think the best way to examine our own priorities is to observe how we spend our time. The other day I was in a different coffee shop and overheard a conversation between two ladies. I didn’t hear the context, but what I did hear punched me in the n@rds.
“You’re supposed to make a list of all of your values and how you think people should live. Then, over about a week, you keep track of what you do every day and see how those activities line up with your self-professed values.”
This is exactly what Paul is talking about in Romans 3. Everyone is a hypocrite. Therefore, everyone is “a law unto themselves.” I think holiness is less about following a certain set of rules and laws, and more about becoming less of a hypocrite. (Maybe? Remember…I’m feeling pretty woozy today…)
I started writing two blog posts before this one, and I’m not so sure this one is much better. I have a lot of feelings inside me today; not so many thoughts. Sometimes it’s hard to filter feelings through the thin sheet of language and present them to another, but I guess this is today’s attempt. In summary:
And pray that today’s woozy feelings are reduced to a minimum.