I don’t have much else in common with the billionaire from Fifty Shades of Grey. On the down side, I don’t have his wealth and looks. On the positive side, I’m not a badly-written knock-off of that vampire guy from Twilight and nor do I talk like a pretentious berk, so I’d probably put it differently from Christian – “I like some weird things.” No, you can’t have a detailed list, although I am the guy who has an unfulfilled wish to be king of a suburb, can’t stop reading things he clearly hates and left therapy thinking everyone else there had a problem, and, yes, you are entitled to assume that’s just scratching the surface of the oddness. I would say none of it has ever harmed anyone else, and most of it hasn’t even involved anyone else, but that’s not really the problem.
What is the problem is – what does God make of all the weirdness? Of me? It’s Holy Week, of course, leading up to the big event of Easter Sunday, a time for self-examination, and I must admit to struggling with the idea that I am acceptable to God. I know that the answer is supposed to be that the acceptability comes from Jesus’ sacrifice, not anything I do, but still…I can’t honestly say that I am, overall, a better person morally for over 20 years of Christianity. Some of what I do is about the same, some is actually worse, and basically the mistakes I make are usually the same ones I always made.
The late David Bowie once did a song called “Always Crashing in the Same Car”, and I guess that kind of sums it up for me. I don’t know what the answer is, if there even is any. All I can say is that I’ve always understood why the Catholic Church has the doctrine of Purgatory, for all that there really isn’t much to support it in the Bible. What makes more sense, psychologically – that you go direct from a sinful life to Paradise because you had faith, despite a lifetime of failing to show a lot of evidence of it, or that you get given some more time to work on the flaws?
I think I’m going to need a lot more time.