So I finally bought a book.
Yeah, you know…those things with the pages made out of paper, all filled with words and maybe even sometimes, but not often if you’re a grown up (or people mistake you for one), containing illustrations? Yep. After approximately six…SIX(!!!!!) years of reading only young adult lit out loud for my young adults or
bored board books to my tiny ones, I finally bit the bullet and bought myself my very own book. And it’s pink! And it has a woman on it! And it has “Sex” right in the title! So nobody better put their grubby child-like and/or manly hands on it, ya hear?
Anyway, so I bought the book and then you know what I did? I READ the book. Oh yes I did! With the turning of the pages and the using of the eyeballs but the not using of the voice. It was pretty glorious. And with chapters on motherhood, friendship, sex, and marriage (just to name a few), I knew there was a lot of wisdom to be gained from this little gem, wisdom I so desperately yearn for at this season of my life.
Then I got to the last chapter, by Barbara R. Nicolosi, entitled “Plugging In and Embracing Discipleship in the Twenty-First Century.” And I’m going to be completely honest: I almost skipped it. I mean, hello? I have a blog, don’t I? And I use facebook. I’m even on the twitter! Do I really need to be encouraged any more in this area?
But as usual, the Holy Spirit is clever and persuasive and I went ahead and read it after all. Thank God. Because it turns out I’ve been being kind of a jerk.
See, I ran out of time to watch t.v. and movies. So I decided that duh, of course those are just a waste of time anyway. I mean, have you SEEN how Hollywood treats ________ ? I mean, it’s like they think that it’s okay for ________ to _______ ! And then I wave my hand dismissively, like so many other people at Barbara’s workshops, and I say “It’s all garbage.” My precious internet, of course, is simply filled with opportunities for evangelization and fellowship, but movies and television? Pshaw! No thanks. I’m counter-cultural!
“It has to be regarded as a modern heresy that so many contemporary Catholics have bought into a reactionary posture of seeing themselves as apart from the culture. We spend all our efforts not making culture but warding it off, purportedly to try and make ourselves “safe”from the flailing around of the rest of the human race. As if the story of the times isn’t our story, too”
“Flannery O’Connor called this kind of clamoring for the safe among the people of God ‘an overemphasis on innocence.’ Because we are the people who are supposed to know about sin, it is possibly as serious a sickness as the wallowing in darkness that the pagans do. We need to deeply reconfirm the conviction that being naive, clueless, and aloof is bad discipleship and has little in common with the wisdom of serpents and the guilelessness of doves to which Jesus calls us.”
“Five-year-olds clamor for everything to be black and white. Discernment is predicable of spiritually mature adults.”
This doesn’t mean, of course, that I’m going to plant my 30.2 weeks pregnant hiney in the middle of the ratty old sofa in the den, ignore my household responsibilities, my children, and my precious internet just so I can catch up on every episode of every season of every Emmy award winning show that I’ve never seen and have so capriciously decided are a waste of anyone’s time and energy (I wish!).
But maybe I can open my mind to some media that isn’t so safe. Media that will require me to consider and discern and explain why it might not be as wonderful as people wish it were, or perhaps why it, in fact, actually is. Or why it isn’t but it’s worth it anyway. Maybe I can embrace the idea of the smart phone and the I-whatever, not because I’ve overcome my dread of talking on the telephone but because perhaps they too can be important tools in this journey.
And maybe I won’t wait for another six years to read the kind of book that can make me say “I was wrong, and I’m glad.”
Dwija Borobia lives with her husband and their four (soon-to-be-five!) kids in rural southwest Michigan in a fixer-upper they bought sight-unseen off the internet. Between homeschooling and corralling chickens, she pretends her time on the internet doesn’t count because she uses the computer standing up. You can read more on her bloghouse unseen. life unscripted.