saboteur

I had another post written up, but it’ll have to wait. This one has a slightly different tone than the rest, so please bear with me.

I am consistently my own greatest obstacle to happiness. This is a problem, because I’m always around myself. More than that, this thing, happiness… it gets me into trouble. You see, I’m not the greatest at discerning, moment by moment, what will actually make me truly happy. Hence nights like last night, where I spent four hours in front of my computer watching… Glee.[1] God have mercy, I just wrote that.

I often joke that there isn’t a single thing I do because I am gay… except watch Glee. For a multitude of reasons I don’t really understand or have time to explain, that show makes it hard for me to be content with chaste singleness. So you think I would just stop watching it, right? Wrong. Because I’m insane and addicted to the way it makes me feel. Somehow the writers hacked into my brain and constructed a character that is kryptonite to my willpower-of-steel. Blaine Anderson could shoot me in the knee and I’d be like, “Wow, he’s so dreamy and good at singing and stuff!” The whole thing is like some big, beautiful, Blaine-shaped train wreck from which I can’t avert my eyes. I know it’s all a dangerous trap,[2] and yet I gladly comply with Satan’s plans for my downfall.

For these past few years God has been so good to show me ways in which my sexuality can be a holy blessing to myself and others. Binge-watching Blaine try to express any emotion beyond “adorable” is not one of those ways.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we, to borrow C. S. Lewis’ famous saying (I am a Wheaton alumnus, after all), content ourselves with building mud pies by the highway when God has prepared a seaside vacation for us? Why are we often the saboteurs to our own sanctification? Do I really have such an impoverished understanding of the true character of happiness that I’m willing to settle for such a shabby counterfeit?

Sometimes I feel like I’m a bit too comfortable with my attraction to men. It’s one thing to accept that it’s a part of my life that simply is, and that that’s ok and I’m not magically less holy because of it, and it’s another thing to be able to re-watch a certain scene four (or eight) times without even a twinge of conscience.

I’ve had periods of darkness that were partly caused by an overactive conscience ascribing intense moral weight to things that were never meant to carry such a load. But I’m pretty sure I’m stuck in a kind of opposite scenario at the moment, where much of my ease is the result of a very lazy mental watchman who simply can’t be bothered to sound the alarm.

The question is, am I willing to reintroduce some friction into my life for the sake of holiness that won’t be so instantly gratifying? It’s silly that I’m saying all this about a TV show, but much like the massive crush I had this past year, which transcended attraction and came to represent the full force of my physical longing for intimacy, Glee has become a symbol of something larger than itself. So… that’s unfortunate.

I’m sure we all have things like this, little things that we have let slide because dealing with them would potentially upset a fragile calm. They seem so small, so inconsequential. It’s just a TV show, after all. But there are no “inconsequential” sins, no “small” rebellions against a God who has given his life for us and called us to an ultimate happiness that will often require sacrifice in the present.

I just wish this sacrifice didn’t have to take place before I’ve seen the season finale.

Jordan


[1] Ha! You were probably expecting porn or something.

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9 thoughts on “saboteur

  1. You’re not alone, my vice was Ugly Betty….

    Straight Christian friends also have to wrestle with this. Several of my close guy friends struggle with their humor, or how comfortable they are loving TV shows with attractive female leads. So take comfort in knowing that it’s not just a celibate gay Christian thing!

  2. Haha! I’d love to see a list of the most common “sinful” guilty pleasure shows Christians have struggled with. I imagine Desperate Housewives would show up a lot. Never saw Ugly Betty. I had braces for over a decade, so it would have probably been too painfully real for me.

    Definitely, though, it’s a human thing, not a “gay” thing. How easy it is to want to think our sins our special; that’s a cultural narrative I’m still trying to purge from my system.

    Jordan

  3. This was amazing. I thank God for your honesty man, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone with this particular sin articulate it like this and still hold your God-given convictions. God bless you sir!

    • I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that you adore A Very Potter Musical with your whole heart? It’s, like, everything you love combined into one magical Youtube sensation. Haha! Thanks for the response!

      Jordan

  4. I don’t know who Blaine is, but I’m going to guess he’s the adorable one I’ve seen on the TV ads. I’m reading the blog in backwards-order (just found it via Steve Gershom) – I love it, and love you two fellows. This post made me laugh out loud…my daughter thought I was laughing at the Harold and the Purple Crayon show. 🙂

  5. Just heard a guy talk about how he was giving up all sorts of TV shows to become free from lust. He even gave up Big Bang Theory when the main girl walked in with a low-cut pajamas shirt. We all need to realize the powerful potential for temptation and sin that different forms of media can hold for us.

    • I agree. I think we feel entitled to our entertainment. We don’t know how to live without it, and think it is pharisaical to abstain from it in any strict manner. Not just regarding lust and sex, but violence and vulgarity. It’s really too bad.

      Thanks for the comment!!

      Jordan

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