Is That a Hole in Your Soul Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

I just finished reading a Tony Hillerman mystery in which the villain was a New Mexico landowner who started out as a geologist working for an oil company.  He was looking for oil, and in the process of finding it he also found a huge uranium deposit.  The uranium would have been worth much more than the oil, and he did not want to see it go to waste, so he arranged to have the oil well blown up and all the workers killed in an apparent drilling accident.  He remade his identity, came back a couple of years later and bought up the land when the oil company’s lease on it had expired, mined uranium to his heart’s content and became hugely rich and powerful.

The whole mystery hinges on the fact that this man had two completely and totally separate identities.  There was the old self–who he was prior to the apparent drilling accident, and the new self that he made himself into afterward.  He took this so far that all that remained of his old self was a few artifacts which he kept hidden in a strongbox in a secret vault.

I think a lot of evangelicals do the same thing.  We divide our lives into two completely watertight compartments:  our lives “before Christ” and our lives “after Christ”–that is, before or after we made the decision to begin a relationship with Jesus Christ–or “got saved”, to use the correct evangelical terminology.  We justify this arrangement using verses such as 2 Corinthians 5:17 (“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”) or Ephesians 2:1 (“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world…”) or Colossians 1:21-22 (“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.  But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight…”). Continue reading “Is That a Hole in Your Soul Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?”

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Confessions of the Unchosen: A Valentines Day Rant

I don’t want to bore you or put you off by talking about my love problems.  If that was all I ever talked about, or even if that was what I talked about for a majority of the time here, nobody would be interested because nobody wants to listen to someone who only talks about his or her love problems.

Nevertheless, there are some frustrations which I am experiencing in this area, and they are going to be talked about on this blog, since they are part of my life.  Not very often, mind you, because nobody wants to listen to somebody who only talks about his or her love problems.  But it will come up for discussion once in a while, and since today is Valentines Day, I figure that is a safe and appropriate occasion to bring it up.

You see, I am getting on in years, and I am probably starting to reach the point where my protracted singleness starts to become something of a social liability.  Granted, the social calendar which says that you marry immediately after college is pretty much a thing of the past these days, and being past 35 and still single is not nearly the social liability that it would have been a generation ago.  Still, it is something of a liability, and one which will only increase as I grow older.

You see, women find men who have been chosen by one of themselves to be more desirable than men who have not.  If some woman has said yes to a man, then that means he is perfectly acceptable and perfectly desirable.  But if no woman has ever said yes to a man, then there must be a reason for it.  If the man is getting up there in age and still no woman has said yes to him, then there REALLY must be a reason for it.  It becomes quite clear, in the eyes of other women at least, that this man is damaged goods or has some other serious issue which makes him undesirable; that is why no woman has ever said yes to him.  This is a vicious circle which only intensifies as the man grows older; if no one has ever said yes to him then it becomes increasingly unlikely that anyone will ever say yes to him.

I’m tired of being unchosen.  Tired of dealing with the negative social capital that goes with being unchosen.  I want to get out of this vicious circle before it is too late.

It never fails.  Every so often, I will come across a woman whom I find attractive and desirable.  But such women are (by their own admission, at least) always at a time and place in life where they do not want to be in a relationship with anyone.  But then they meet someone.  Some dashing, attractive young prince who rides in on a white horse.  And then all bets are off.  And they would say to themselves, “Well, I thought I didn’t want to be in a relationship with anyone at this point in my life.  But then I met him, and I forgot all about that.  He is so charming, so irresistable, that I just don’t care anymore about not wanting to be in a relationship with anyone.”

Just for once in my life, I want to be that guy.  The one who rides in on the white horse and sweeps some beautiful young woman off her feet.  The one who is so charming and irresistable that he causes her to think, “Well, I thought I didn’t want to be in a relationship with anyone, but now all bets are off.”

Just for once in my life, I want to be that guy.

I don’t want to be unchosen anymore.