Friday, December 26, 2008
So continuing on... that skepticism, that unwillingness to accept answers that are a bit too easy, is where I've been for the past several months. It's an odd sort of no man's land. I think of it as being in abeyance (I love that word). I have, on the one hand, a set of experiences with spirituality that I can't ignore. I have a number of ideas and opinions, some of which line up with a traditional religious system and some of which don't, that I use to explain those experiences to myself. But sometimes when I hear someone express their own opinions on these topics (as Young does in The Shack), I realize how silly it is to claim with any degree of authority at all that I know what's going on out there in the universe.
And it's part of my problem with The Shack, to be honest. Where does he get the nerve to speak for God? Isn't that really what he's doing, by imagining how God would respond to Mack's questions? How does he have that chutzpah? It partly makes me angry that he would even try; but it also makes me a bit envious. Last year, in my nano novel, my original plan was that the main character, a young woman in her twenties, would have extremely vivid dreams about being a follower of Jesus during his three years of ministry on earth. The narrative would alternate between her normal, everyday life and the dreams that she was having every night. But it completely stalled out because I couldn't do exactly what Young does-- I couldn't speak for Jesus. I could imagine the situation and the plot outline and where I thought it was going, but when it came right down to writing an encounter between the main character and Jesus, I couldn't do it. So whatever chutzpah it takes to do this, I don't have it. And maybe don't want to have it.
and round and round on the spiral of spiritual growth we go.... and I find myself back again at the place where I realize that in honoring one side of my experience (the skepticism and cynicism), I've moved too far toward that pole and neglected the spiritual side. And for that reminder, I am grateful to Mr. Young, as irritating as I found this book at times.
I'm not at all sure that these three posts say what I was trying to say. Usually I spend quite a bit of time polishing them up before I am ready to leave them alone. but it won't happen this time since we're leaving to go out of town in the morning and I'm about to fall asleep at the keyboard here. So if anybody reads them between now and the time when I get back and have time to edit them, my apologies for murkiness.
off to frolic in the sun (I hope)