we've been doing a worship unit based on a training regimen that the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights used for orienting and preparing young african-american and european-american adults to demonstrate during the civil rights movement. they had to be made ready. like boot camp before battle. the list is rigorous and challenging. it's been screwing with all us journeyers' heads and hearts. like boot camp with jesus.
it struck me as i was talking that i've let go of my attachment to my black pickup truck. i wanted a truck for years. texans like trucks. men like trucks. i grew up riding in pickup trucks with men - my stepfather, my grandfather, my grandmother's boyfriend (after my grandfather died) - all men with trucks. i've had mine a few years; i bought it from one of my very best friends ever. it's a bit beat up. one of the corners squeaks when i go over a bump. it used to be red and now it's black with a few tiny spots of red showing through. or maybe the red is from when it was repaired after a wreck, before i got it.
it's decorated with little stuffed cartoon characters and a bouncing jesus on the dash, and a buddha on a cell phone, and it's got bumper stickers. it bears my creative spirit. i'm taking me with me on the road. and austinites spend a lot of time on the road.
for years we were so broke that we drove whatever car we could get. so i was so, so, so happy to get my man-truck. i feel great when i drive it. and i have a right to it, dammit!
and god said, Do you really have to have that in order to be free, and help others be free?
my rationalization has been, "it was inexpensive, and i haven't bought a fancy car, and i can haul things for family and friends and for journey," which i have (a lot). jeff goldblum's character says in the big chill, "I don't know anyone who could get through the day without two or three juicy rationalizations.” i don't know how any of us in the middle - to - upper - classes in america could live any part of any day without rationalizations to keep all the shit we have. we're the richest culture ever on the face of the earth. who do we think we are to keep buying stuff we don't need?
AND - what about other personal wishes? status. achievement. comfort. safety. good health. time. fulfillment. luxury. control. we think we're entitled to this stuff. or, at least, it hasn't really occurred to us, down deep, that those things are not only not necessary, but potential impediments to our being truly free.
what am i doing that all men and women might be free? anything?
what if god is like marcellus wallace in pulp fiction, who says to butch the boxer, "The night of the fight, you may feel a slight sting. That's pride fucking with you. Fuck pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps."
i washed my truck saturday. made it all pretty and shiny and clean and laid it out there before the universe. "here's my truck" i said to god, although i was really talking about my life and my personal wishes. "do with it what you can. lemme help you." it was hard. but it was healing.
i try to do that with my heart, my time, my intentions, my willingness to serve. "but i just got this after all this time of wanting it so bad!" i think to myself - and then i remember: jesus said the only way to deep happiness and freedom is to let allllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll that shit go.