Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Puppy - CB Part Two

My niece has discovered A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS. She has a different title for it. She calls it:

“Christmas puppy I want.”

Me too.

Here is the second part of my argument for why A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS is the best holiday special ever.

I left off last time stating that declaring one’s unhappiness (especially in the season of joy) goes against social expectations for churched Americans – we have Jesus, how could we possibly feel incomplete?

However, it is Biblical to grouse about our lousy state of mind.

Especially to G-d.

“Hear my prayer, O Lord, let my cry for help come to you. For my days vanish like smoke; my bones burn like glowing embers. My heart is blighted and withered like grass; I forget to eat my food. Because of my loud groaning, I am reduced to skin and bones.” -PSALM 102: 1, 3 & 4

I’m planning on packaging those verses as the California Biblical Whining Diet. I’ll make a fortune.

The Bible is chock full of people talking about feeling depressed, or unfulfilled or disappointed. Claiming that they just don’t understand Christmas – well, don’t understand G-d anyway.

And these are the prophets and saints – from Moses to David to Peter to Paul – all questioning G-d.

Now before you go off whining and making everyone around you miserable – all while saying, “Sean made me do it,” -- I have to warn you that not all complaining is Good Book approved.

In fact, there are scores of complainers in the Bible that are struck down from above for their bellyaching.

There are two tricks to the G-dly questioner: one, is being willing to admit you don’t have the answers. Which requires turning over control:

“Questions, no matter how shocking or blasphemous or arrogant or ignorant or raw, are rooted in humility. A humility that understands that I am not God. And there is more to know.” Rob Bell, VELVET ELVIS

Charlie Brown is definitely in a position of humility.

The second trick is to keep it real.

By that I mean keep it from just being griping – moaning for moaning sakes or just to whine isn’t a Biblical notion – that’s desert moaning. That’s “hey, let’s incur the wrath of the Almighty” moaning.

This other, goodly kind of complaining is a searching – looking to move through the mood.

“This book of Job hints at a strange truth that is never explained, and probably cannot be explained: the full admission of pain opens the door to hope.” -Ellen Davis, GETTING INVOLVED WITH GOD
Heading towards hope is a good kind of melancholy. And that goes to who we make the admission.

In the Psalms – it is always directed to G-d; in the desert, it is always a means to an end – gossip to make the speaker feel better for having spread his/her misery.

Just my thoughts,



Matt Singley said...

Great posts! Keep it real...I need to remember that.

janet said...

The California Biblical Whining Diet! I love it! Sign me up to help with the pyramid scheme!