Contemplating spiritual suicide

Years ago good friends brought me to a hear Jenny Lewis play in Dublin. Maybe it was just my mood on the night, (I prefer to think of it as her talent as a musician and songwriter) but her performance drew me into a deep place. It is one of my most memorable gigs for all the right reasons. As she sang ‘acid tongue’ one line in the song almost made me cry with the kind of spontaneous outburst more associated with laughter. “Now, I am tired. It just made me tired.” She didn’t just sing these words, she confessed them. And her honesty pierced through my own bullshitting for a moment.

I sat in a coffee shop yesterday alone for the first time in over a year. And that gig, that moment, those words flooded into my memory. I was reading words from Matthew (as well as Malcolm Orange) and it was a lot of “finish the race, stand firm to the end, fight the fight” kind of stuff and I felt that similar surge threatening to burst forth from my eyes and all I could think was ‘but I am tired. Too fuc*ing tired”. I imagined myself in a kind of spiritual suicide in which I a runner in the Christian race just sat down for a bit in the middle of the track. I imaged myself too tired for this standing firm and keeping going kind of business. I imagined myself laying back, closing my eyes and floating away in this spiritual realm of which I am a part. “Go on ahead without me” I yelled to you all as you passed by, “I can’t be arsed anymore”.

I indulged my daydream imaginings for a few moments wondering what it would be like to have a bit of a sit down in the God battle and at the same time began to reflect on the God who also beckons me to ‘come to the waters’ (a line which is heard in espero’s voice in my head). And today I am trying to make sense of these seemingly contradictory commands and part of me when I lean into the words about rest and Gods strength feels like standing up again and running to catch you all up in this very long race.

http:// Acid Tongue – Jenny Lewis:

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7 Comments on “Contemplating spiritual suicide”

  1. espero Says:

    A much loved friend of mine, who is especially good at tuning into the groans of my heart, bought me this print a few months ago. I sat in the middle of the pub we were in and wept the moment I unfurled it. It is called ‘the Prodigal daughter’ but perhaps it should just be ‘daughter’. Held, carried, nothing to gve but the weight of myself.

  2. timui Says:

    Isaiah 40:28-31

  3. PatrickM Says:

    Forgive the ramble. Someone once talked about how ‘angsty’ Prod evangelicals (for want of a better label) can be and it was a bit of a personal revelation how it applied to me (still does I guess). What’s blogging about if not wrestling with thoughts and questions!?

    For someone who believes God, truth, cross, future hope, forgiveness, new life and such, then there is always going to feel more at stake than if those things are irrelevant? (Not saying those who don’t view life in Christian terms don’t think hard and live with integrity).

    Evangelicals are activists since there is so much to work out and think about – local church ministry, how to preach good, how to do Bible study right, be a good spouse and parent, do world missions, evangelise your town, give pastoral care …. And that can get a bit overwhelming (and guilt inducing) as if it is all up to us …

    And then there is Prod evangelical ongoing discussion and analysis and debate about – well choose your topic – men & women, baptism, consumerism, sexuality, gospel, church govt, the Bible, creation etc etc. Working out answers to all that can get daunting and exhausting.

    I guess what I’m saying is that I wonder if part of what you are writing about is coming from particular tensions within our spiritual tradition? Two reasons evangelicals become Catholics is to find more security (as opposed to fragmentation and lack of authority) and more of a sense of resting in God’s sacramental presence (where not everything is up to me / us).

    Not trying to convert you 🙂 That option wouldn’t work for me – but I think there is learning there. As I go on I realise that those issues and challenges (and new ones) will always be there. I need to learn to rest in essentials (live in the story of the gospel) and know that what God desires for me is ultimately ‘simple’ and relational and refreshing – love him, love others.

    • transfarmer Says:

      Thanks for your thoughts Patrick. The idea of resting in Gods sacramental presence is quite an appealing one! I think you’re right in that I feel pulled with the tensions. Fight the fight vs we soar on the wings of an eagle. Or like you say in your recent blog, enjoying a wonderful holiday but then feeling guilt or for me having a nice house when people have nothing etc. Being a disciple causes me to die to self but I find it difficult and at times too tiring figuring out what specifically that means for me.

  4. Richard Johnston Says:

    Transfarmer… I just read through your blogs again tonight. All I can say is ‘Peace and Love’. It was good.

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