hey loser

Almost daily, I’m shocked at all of the books, articles, blogs and effort put into telling people how to live. Once the shock wears away, I’m simply annoyed. Bookstores have aisles and aisles filled with books about how to get rich, be happy, skinny and less of a jerk. Even in my most aimless traipses through Barnes and Noble, I don’t venture into those sections. I’d much rather read romance aloud, even if I’m alone because eventually, somebody’s going to hear me and panic-laugh at that garbage.

I’m not overly familiar with the publishing world, but I do know that companies won’t print anything unless they expect it to sell. That’s what kills me about this whole thing- the books about self-diagnosing and treating personality disorders and finding the right man or woman land on those shelves because we’re buying them. Apparently, all of humanity is trying to figure this crap out.

Life is like a box of chocolates hard. I nearly included a profanity in that last sentence to really drive it home. Living isn’t easy. First, there are the obvious perils of being in 3D- like walls to accidentally drive or run into and objects that fall from shelves and the sky. We have bodies to feed and sustain. Sometimes, they get mad at us and do things like make kidney stones or cancer. Occasionally, people do something really dumb and catch chlamydia. Then you add relationships, paying the bills, dreams and desires to the mix.

I’m feeling anxious just writing this. Mostly kidding.

Some people would say that we have all of our answers in one place. All we have to do is open the Scriptures and that will tell us what to do. While I am wholly inclined to agree with this, I’m not kind enough to believe that any of us has all of the wisdom, insight, spiritual inclination (and so on) to understand what the Bible has to say about all the things in life. Realistically, none of us does. We have pastors, priests and other leader-types  to guide us, then there’s Martha Stewart, Oprah and all the other celebrities who know a lot of great stuff, or at least they’re successful enough to make us want to listen to whatever the hell they have to say.  By the way, haven’t you noticed that so many leaders and successful people suck at life, too? I mean, Oprah is still heavy and still single. Martha Stewart might be the MacGyver of decorating and crap, but she still did time in prison. Steven Pressfield, author of the Legend of Bagger Vance and the War of Art has sacrificed a lot to become a successful writer. His life has sucked, but now he’s rich and famous, so there’s that- for whatever it’s worth.

I could go on and on about famous people who suck at life and are still giving advice. But it’s so obvious that nobody has the art of living a life like we’re supposed to figured out. So, we read each and every article that Relevant Magazine publishes about surviving our twenties in a godly way. We make sure that nobody sees us as we sneak into that aisle in the bookstore that will hopefully have at least one book that will help us shake the unbearable weight of shame after _____.

Life isn’t about being happy, skinny or famous. It isn’t exclusively about any of the things that I’ve mentioned so far- these are examples. I could be super preachy and say that our goal should always be to bring God the most glory we possibly can for every second of every day until we pass into eternity, where we get do to the same until forever and ever never really passes. I believe that and I like it, as much as I was sarcastic about it. But bringing God glory while fighting traffic when I’m worried that I offended a loved one after not getting enough sleep last night because my mind was frantically pondering the mysteries of life, faith and the Everlasting Gobstopper- isn’t easy. I’m sure there’s a book about that, too.

So, even though I want to stab every author out there who’s making a buck off some book or article about how to not suck at some aspect of life, I guess I can say I get it. Kudos to you for figuring something out. You still need Jesus and I’m not buying your book, probably due to pride.