Snowstorms mean 2 things: an excuse to veg on the couch consuming dangerous amounts of Netflix bandwidth & lots & I do mean lots of whip cream piled on top of my hot cocoa. Dr. Stein is baffled that such a little person can have such high cholesterol. It’s very mysterious. Mysterious enough that even weirdo-we-all-love Vincent D’Onofrio has been unable to uncover this mystery.
I love snowstorms.
I do not love Netflix.
It seems to be joining the MTA & USPS marketing slogan of: “spend more, get less!”. And we do.
Netflix started stopping in the middle of “House of Cards” Friday night with that annoying black screen and that red rectangle which mistakenly says “Loading…..”. It’s not loading. It’s thinking. It’s grabbing a soda, picking up the dry cleaning, scrubbing the toilet, popping into Starbucks for a latte….and then it’s thinking, just thinking about loading up the next episode. Much like the lady at the post office who’s “getting you stamps.”
I used these brief intermissions to catch up with Esther as she made granola in the kitchen. How someone on the board of Young Republicans gets away with making granola is beyond me; yet, as she made her liberal Commie concoction we tried to predict if Frank is going to 1) have an affair with Zoe 2) work with the teacher’s union 3) fess up to that whole brick mess.
I do realize this is what Twitter would call a #1stworldproblem but still. It’s very vexing. In a “how many wigs can Nicki Minaj” wear on American Idol kind of way. In a, “why isn’t Turbo Tax importing my W-2” kind of way. In a “why is the $10 Costco salmon caviar bottle so hard to open” kind of way. In a, “why is the United States of Bacon” the best thing on TV kind of way.
That is to say, it shouldn’t be vexing at all.
If you haven’t seen “House of Cards” you really should. It will make your skin crawl. Because it’s about D.C., the seedy underbelly of politics where people wearing suits walk around halls, make deals, talk about “family values” and eat lots of steak.
We hate D.C. because it reveals so much about us. The darkness of who we are, what we want, and the depths we’ll go to get that. There’s a lot of cocaine, a lot of scotch, and a lot of really lost people on H of C trying to find their way with a moral compass directing south. Way south. Screwtape south.
We hate people like Frank because they uncover the highly uncomfortable truth that when left to ourselves, we are all Frank’s.
It’s why Paul has to tell us to “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit”.
Implicit in that statement is that selfish ambition & vain conceit is EXACTLY what we’ll strive for unless restrained & redirected by the reign of Someone greater.
You know what I’m talking about. Whether at work or in a social situation (particularly in New York) people trip over one another, build alliances, and go after some “ring” that someone, somewhere said was worth it. You can have the ring. And my spot on “Precious impression” to go with it. Uh, just to be clear, I’m talking about Tolkien’s ring, not the one Mark Sanchez is putting on my finger. I still want that ring.
Back to Frank…..if you managed to soak up NYC’s bandwidth and catch the “Peach” episode you’ll remember a very poignant scene in a church. It’s poignant because if you follow American politics at all, you know that savvy politicians seem to find God when they enter the political arena. They like to use pulpits, churches, and congregations as mini-PAC’s to advance their own careers. It’s all part of the game.
I’m not that smart. And not that political. But I do know that the church should be big enough and smart enough not to become a puppet in the hands of politicians (left or right) like Frank intent on advancing their own careers on God’s back.
Back to Frank….he says something in that church that grabbed my attention. He said, “I hate God.” It’s a pretty big thing to say.
But haven’t you said it? Maybe not in so many words, but haven’t you looked up and asked, “God, what in the world?” Haven’t you gone through a period of rejection, loss, divorce, depression, death, pain…. and shaken your fists?
You don’t have to tell me if you have (just text me) but I do think we do have to be honest with God. Because the guy knows what we’re thinking before we say it. He knows our motives. He knows the stirrings of our heart. Nothing is hidden from Him.
Incredible pain. Separation of a couple we care about deeply. Loneliness. Despair. The death of a beautiful young child who never even had a chance. A really, really bad job situation. No job.
Sometimes, we do hate God. We hate the way He says “no” for our good when we want a “yes” now because we think we know better than him. We hate the way He calls us to remain in tough situations to grow us & live day by day knowing we’re only surviving because He’s carrying us. We hate His call to be better than we are. We hate what He requires of us – to do justly, love mercy, & walk humbly. We hate that He doesn’t have to tell us what’s going on and why. We hate that we’re not in control.
Which brings me to this verse. A dose of humility for those of us shaking our fists at God:
“As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.” – Ecc 11:5