Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Sex, Rock 'N' Roll, & Granola

Tonight I find myself sitting in Starbucks, which isn’t all that unusual. What is a little out of the ordinary is that I’m listening to old Christian rock on my iPod – thanks Dave! – and I just finished a fruit, yogurt, and granola parfait, which was undoubtedly over-priced at $3.45. It’s only the second or third time that I’ve bought one, and it stretches me, since I don’t like the word ‘parfait.’ The ‘t’ at the end seems quite useless, unless you pronounce it par-fate, in which case you should just spell it that way.

Anyways, tonight I’m not particularly concerned with the parfait, and I don’t have a lot to say about rock ‘n’ roll. So that leaves sex as the remaining candidate. Sex and, well, God of course, two things I probably spend too much time thinking about.

I’m just wondering if communicating with God is less like sitting across a kitchen table from a man in a suit and tie who is explaining doctrine, and more like making love. I have a feeling that it’s the latter. Of course this picture of God as lover shouldn’t be something completely foreign to us, at least to anyone who has spent a lot of time leafing through the Bible. But perhaps we skipped over the poetry of the Song of Solomon too hastily, or dismissed it as unexplainable or solely about human amorousness – and yes, that’s a word, I just checked. What if the writer is talking about our relationship to God? In any case, it’s a rather awkward part of the Bible if we tend to view all things Christian as G-rated. It’s sort of like sitting down to watch Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who and all of a sudden onto the screen appear two people in a passionate love scene. Anyways, enough about the Song of Solomon. In unrelated news, a barista just came around with samples of Starbucks’ new honey latte. I’m not quite sure what to make of it. I think I’ll need a full mug of it to make up my mind.

Back to the topic of love-making, or, to the thrust of this particular blog post. It seems to me that good sex should be another form of communication, or a sharing between two people. At least I think it’s more enjoyable when both parties are actively involved. One contrary scenario to this is the imposition of one person onto another. I think most of us would agree that if we were to apply this imagery to God’s relationship with us, we’d see it as an unhealthy relationship. Another image that could be used is one of passivity or pretending. Perhaps far too many people feel an obligation to submit and make some fabricated expressions of ecstasy every once in awhile even though they are getting nothing out of the experience. In this scenario only God is enjoying the moment.

I don’t think that God is someone trying to impose himself on us or that the divine needs or wants our attention, adulation, or submission ‘just because he’s God.’ A few months ago I went to hear author Marcus Borg speak, and perhaps the line I enjoyed the most was “I don’t think God gives a damn if we worship him or not!” Maybe God is more interested in passion than merely praise, in love rather than lordship.

I also think that perhaps there is something about sex that makes us more fully human, or expresses a part of our humanity that could not otherwise be expressed. And that’s what a relationship with the divine should do – enhance your humanity rather than diminish it. After time spent in the bedroom (or your location of choice) shouldn’t you feel more like yourself, not less?

Another thought that comes to mind is this: Should anyone feel the need to have a perfect body before heading into the bedroom? I think that if God were a person, she wouldn’t blink at an extra couple of pounds or funny looking feet. In such a way, not one of us needs to feel perfect before experiencing a relationship with the divine.

Anyways, my honey latte is gone, and it’s time to head home. Just a few thoughts on a Monday night at Starbucks.