Why God is the Opposite of Boobs

I got your interest with that title, didn’t I? It’s true though. And it’s not because I’m trying to gender God or something. Maybe God is a woman and then She would be opposite of Her boobs. That’s all I’m saying.

When we are little (like before-we-can-move-by-ourselves little), we have very little concept of the world. And it is theorized that new-borns believe that the entire world is their mothers’ breasts. That’s all there is to life. Nothing else matters or is important. They, supposedly, are consumed by their little newborn perception of that breast. And that’s all that is going on.

Well, then fast-forward a decade or two, and life seems really really complicated. We deal with careers, school, mortgages, children, spouses, significant others, aging families, funerals, marriages, births, birthdays, war, taxes, depressions, disease, and all the other stuff we think is important. And we think we have grown vastly superior to the baby who cannot comprehend anything other than her mother’s breast.

But the truth is that we still haven’t reached a sophisticated truth. Sure, life isn’t all about boobs. It’s good we learned that. (Maybe some people are still trying to get over that part.) But it’s silly that we think that life is all about all of the various things we surround ourselves with now. Why should ten, twenty, thirty years make all that much different.

It’s funny because we often include God in this list of stuff that life is about. But we would be much closer to understanding what God’s power was if we said something like God is life. We used to believe that boobs were life. That was wrong. God is life probably isn’t all that wrong. God’s kinda the opposite of boobs.

There’s a scene in the movie V for Vendetta when one of the characters is reading a letter from one of the other characters, and the letter-writer says that her grandmother used to tell her that “God was in the rain.” I try to remind myself of that every time I find myself uptown without an umbrella.

Extra Extra!

Sometimes when I’m watching movies or television shows, I find myself wondering what the stories of the extras are. One of my favorite shows is Community. There’s this one episode of Community from Season 2 where pop-culture-obsessed Abed tells universal-cool-guy Jeff Winger about when he got to be an extra in his favorite television show Cougartown. All Abed had to do was walk down the street in the background of this scene, but to do so, he constructed a whole back-story in his head and got so far into character that when the director yelled cut, he had an existential crisis.

I love this scene. I love it because it shows us the absurdity of story-telling. Now don’t get me wrong, I love stories, but stories can never really give a full picture of an event or feeling. Nothing can, really. And the trouble with great story-telling is that when we love a character we often forget about all of the seemingly unimportant people that help the story along. In books, authors can limit the number of characters. There aren’t really extras in books. There are crowds. But these crowds are more amorphous blobs than individuals. But in movies, there are extras. Movies would feel empty without them.

What’s the story behind Army Guy #2 who gets shot and dies? Does he have a family? Did they know that he loves them? Did he know that they loved him? Was he in the army because he needed to support his sickly mother? Was he planning on going to school after his service? We don’t know. We don’t ask. We don’t care.

Everyone has a story, and we do ourselves a disservice when we marginalize all of those everyones to extras. Because if we foster a world where there are extras, then we easily become extras to other people, too.

We have to remember when we consume stories, that no matter how clear we think the lines of right and wrong, or good and evil, or Jedi and Sith are drawn, there exist other stories that will inevitably skew those lines. Darth Vader’s generals probably have similarly heart-wrenching stories of how they came to the dark side. But we don’t care. We cheer when Han Solo kills one or two.

Who have you been treating as an “extra” lately?

Signs Just Aren’t That Into You

I caught part of the movie He’s Just Not That Into You on television last night. I’m a sucker for movies like that. Invariably in movies like that, there’s a guy who thinks he’s deromanticized the whole pursuit of love. He thinks that love is just about being with people who you like being around. At this point in the movie, he’s actually correct. Invariably, said guy ends up realizing that there is a huge romantic element to love and begins to think that he was originally wrong. Hilarity and such ensues, and the happy ending comes when he finally conforms to the romantic sign-driven love of popular culture.

The problem with these movies is that they are lies. This isn’t to say that there isn’t a romantic element to love. There is. Just not in a Wuthering Heights sort of way. Movies like HJNTIY teach us to wait for signs and to look for signs where there aren’t any. If there’s anyone guilty of waiting around for signs, though, it’s definitely me. I love “signs.” I love dissecting every little thing that goes on around me, wondering what it means. And I ignored a relationship with God for a long time because I was waiting for a “sign.”

I have a friend who doesn’t buy into the whole sign thing. And he’s great. Instead of sitting around, waiting for an answer to a problem to come to him, he keeps himself busy. He chases all of the paths he’s interested in until it becomes strikingly clear what the right decision is. I asked him once how he discerns God’s will. And like most people, he said he prayed regularly about things that were bugging him, but he also moved. It’s hard to hear a lesson when we aren’t doing something. You can read about math in a book, but if you never actually worked the problems, you would never learn how to use it.

I think that’s how life is. We expect God to divinely inspire us, but the people who are living great lives are also the ones who are risking great mistakes. As time goes on, it becomes easier to figure out what the right, godly decision is. But it is very rarely simply handed to us.

Where are you moving?