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.

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This is an All-Skate: Christians Behaving Badly?

All right kids.  Today’s post is an all-skate, which means that each and every one of you will be expected to join in the discussion.  No lurking will be allowed today; if I catch you, I will track down your IP address, reach through your internet connection and out through your computer monitor, and throttle you to death.  So don’t be shy.  Jump in and let me know what you think.

For those of you who are not internet- or blog/blogosphere-savvy, the procedure for leaving comments here is quite simple.  Just click on the title of this post or on the word “Comments” which appears at the bottom, and that will take you to a special page which contains this post all by itself, with a form at the end where you can leave your comment.  Fill in your name (doesn’t have to be your real name, just the name that you want to use here) and email address (sorry, this is a required item).  If you have a blog or other website, put the address of that site in the space where it says “Website” and you will get a link to your site.  Finally, just type your comment in the big space and click the “Submit Comment” button, and you’re done.

Note:  If your comment contains a link to another website, then it will be held for moderation.  This is a precaution which I have taken because I don’t want anything appearing on my site which links to anything offensive.  If you wish to link to something which you feel is relevant to the discussion, then by all means do so; just understand that your comment will be moderated and won’t appear right away.

Anyway…

The subject of today’s discussion is as follows:  Why do Christians behave badly in certain situations?

What I have in mind is this:  You are the waiter/waitress at a local restaurant.  You work the Sunday lunch shift because you are presently on the low end of the seniority totem pole.  A large group of people who are obviously part of the after-church crowd comes in and sits in your section.  You go to get their drink orders, and right off the bat one of them says to you something to this effect:  “I just want to let you know up front that we will not be giving you anything in the way of a tip because we do not believe in working on Sunday.”  (Sad to say, I am not making this up.  This actually happened recently; read what the original poster had to say about it.)

My question:  What is the justification for Christians behaving in this fashion?  Because it seems to me that there is a huge disconnect from being “a good witness”, which is something that we talk about all the time, and not tipping your waiter/waitress because you don’t believe in working on Sunday, leaving a tract in lieu of a tip, and other such things that Christians have been known to do in restaurants.  I just want to know how we get from here to there.

All right, the floor is open.  This is an all-skate, so don’t just sit there staring at your computer screens and passively taking this in.  I expect to see some good discussion here.

Of Facebook, Community, and Abortion: My Roe V Wade Rant

This week I finally broke down and allowed myself to be assimilated into that vast and ever-growing Facebook nation. Facebook is an amazing place; as a result of joining Facebook I have had the opportunity to reconnect with people whom I have not seen or heard from in ages and whom I thought I would never see or hear from again as long as I lived.

Facebook is a blessing to me because it allows me to experience at least some measure of community, intimacy, and connection with others. These are all things which I desire very strongly, but because of certain developmental issues in my life, my capacity to experience the full blessings of community, intimacy, and connection with others is somewhat impaired. For this reason, I am willing to do whatever I have to do to experience this in any way that I can. This often means that I must sacrifice my own agendas for my relationships with others and accept whatever intimacy and community they are willing to offer me on their terms.

For example, it has been an ongoing frustration in my life that I am still single. (You can read more about this in my Valentine’s Day rant which will be forthcoming in a few days.) I desire to be in a romantic relationship with someone, and yet if I were always pressing for such a relationship, then no woman in her right mind would want to have me around. Thus I sacrifice this desire as part of the price I pay to be in community with the women that I know.

Another example: I can be very strongly opinionated about many controversial issues, especially related to politics and religion. Those of you who have been tracking with me regularly on this blog are no doubt well aware of this. Yet I know full well that politics and religion are generally very unsafe subjects for real live conversation. Thus I cannot be this way in real live conversation with other people, or else no one would want to have me around. (That is a huge part of the reason why I have this blog as an outlet.) That is part of the price I pay to be in community with other people.

I try to be true to my values and convictions, politically, religiously, and otherwise. And I try to be true to my desires in life, such as my desire for a relationship. Yet I know that in real life, if I want to be in community with others I can’t always have it my way, on my terms. For me, the choice is to accept slow, halting, compromising progress toward my social goals, or else to live altogether outside of community with others and attain no progress whatsoever toward my social goals. With this in mind I choose the former, not insisting upon the right to have my opinions heard or to have a relationship as part of the price I pay to be in community and experience at least some of the blessings of being in community.

I wish that we as evangelicals were willing to take the same approach in our engagement with the world at large, especially on the issue of abortion. Continue reading “Of Facebook, Community, and Abortion: My Roe V Wade Rant”

Joe Is Now on Facebook!

That’s right, people.  I tried to resist it for as long as I possibly could.  But in the end I found that resistance was futile, and I have now been assimilated into that vast and ever-growing, way-too-numerous-to-count Facebook nation.

So for those of you who regularly sojourn here in this, my carefully and lovingly tended little plot of the blogosphere…will you be my friend?

K. W. Leslie on Tithing

Today allow me to direct your attention to a post at K. W. Leslie’s blog on tithing.  Get ready for a big surprise, folks:  K. W. Leslie examines the verses that pertain to tithing, and you will find a whole lot of things that you didn’t even know or think were there.  For instance, did you know that the Israelites were to take everything that they tithed to the place where they went for worship, and throw a party with it?  This and many other surprises await you if you read K. W. Leslie’s post on tithing.  So read it and prepare to rethink everything you thought you knew about tithing.