I feel mentally tired.

Not really anything I can put my finger on, except a burned out feeling.

So another one of those posts where I’m just going to go through half a dozen things:

  • New guy visited church yesterday, named David. David says he is agnostic but does value the religious content of the services. He was at a Presbyterian church, but he did not like them, essentially because that particular congregation treated the Filipinos in the congregation like dirt and the white foreigners like kings. I hope he stays, not least because I am deeply curious how exactly this agnostic but religious thing works. He says, with a smile, “I am not smart enough to know which is the true faith.” I actually wrote a whole post about that one sentence, and decided not to post it because it went a little off topic as it went on but….isn’t that backwards? It seems that means you have to be ready to know everything about everything in every moment to dance between religions supposedly picking out the good from the bad like that. You’d have to be really smart to do that…smarter than I think any living human is.

In contrast, being Christian is making one big choice, and the rest is trying to catch up and interpret the wisdom of the Bible, which still requires you to be pretty damn smart. But at least its a level of intelligence really smart people are capable of.

And being Catholic is making one big choice, and the rest is trying to catch up with the doctrines of the Church, which requires the least intelligence of all, because the doctrines are more explicit than even the Bible. This does not mean there is less thought in Christianity or Catholicism. Actually there is more thought, if a person wants it. It just means that the thought is almost all ‘catching up’…trying to understand why a given thing is part of the Faith. Confronting oneself with millennia old Churches, religious texts, and philosophies is a good way to realize just how narrow our day to day perspective is.

Personally, I could never have arrived at any view remotely resembling what I can think and argue for now without a few pushes in the right direction.

It seems like the dumb people who are, in their better moments, aware of their own stupidity, should flock straight to something dogmatic, because dogmas are very rarely stupid. Things don’t become dogmas unless (leaving out direct revelation) some brilliant person somewhere once thought it was a good idea, convinced almost everyone else it was a good idea, and experience shows it to be, at the very least, a workable idea.

  • Amber bought a bicycle this weekend, and rode it to work today. The traffic is so bad that bicycling along the shoulder at a leisurely pace, she beat her bus there by about 30 minutes. She is very excited about this, and I don’t blame her. The number 25 bus has long been the worst part of live here.

Its a good bike too. Looking at reviews, it was a steal, even at $250.

  • I feel like I’ve been at a low point for a few weeks, especially religiously. I’m not really sure why this is, and its interesting in a way. Let me explain.

I do not feel like praying. I do not feel like reading my Bible. I do not feel like working on ChesterCast or working on my YouTube series. I do not feel like fighting with the guy on Eve Online who instantly started berating me for being Catholic the instant I arrived in my Corp and hasn’t let up since (and is, bar none, the dumbest atheist I have ever argued with). I do not feel like doing my BSP stuff (and I am beginning to regret joining, for one good reason and one stupid, probably outright sinful reason). I did not feel like going to the Bible study meeting before Church yesterday.

I think this moment is the lowest moment I have had since my conversion. My belief is more solid than it ever has been. Intellectually, I am more certain now of my faith than ever before. I have absolutely no intellectual, rational doubts. So many things I have thought wrong have been proven right that those few things I still think wrong, I am certain it is because I am missing some critical detail, and so I defer to the Church, which is what I’m supposed to do, the same way a good Protestant would defer to the Bible, even when he does not understand why the Bible is saying what it says.

But my spirit feels at its lowest point. I know there is a God, but I feel completely isolated from Him. No…hmm…I know there is a God, but the dominant mood of the moment is not wanting Him. And its completely irrational. Actually, all my reason tells me that its ridiculous. But that’s the mood. And its still not the best description of it.

But here’s the odd part, the part that makes this interesting: this disappears almost the instant mass starts on Sunday. I don’t think I have ever yet been unhappy to be in mass. I have been unhappy while at mass, but the mass itself is always a highlight. So far, and I know I have not been Christian for very long, no matter how low I feel, the mass is something special. And that makes no rational sense, because it would seem that if I were religiously tired, then the mass, which really is about 75% the same exact words, the same exact hymns, every single week, would be the first thing I would get tired of. But it is far enough the last that I have not yet felt tired of the mass.

Sunday mass is, every single week, even now, the best hour or so of my week.

I don’t understand that.

  • Amber and I each bought Nintendo DS’s the past week. It was something of a guilty splurge. We now each have a Nintendo DS. We have two copies of Nintendogs (one for her dogs and one for mine), a copy of Elite Beat Agents (great, great game), and a copy of Super Mario 64 DS which they gave us for free. All of them in Korean.

I love this little system. I have always been a Nintendo fan, and the DS is another triumph. I want so many of the games on it. I want the Zelda game (which I would have to import). I want the redone Final Fantasy 3 game (which is Japanese final fantasy 3, not American three…US3 = JP6). I want the redone Final Fantasy 4 game (which is Japanese 4, otherwise known in America as Final Fantasy 2). I want Animal Crossing. I want one of the DS versions of Advance Wars.

Of course, that can all wait, and probably wait a good long time. But it is so exciting to have a nice handheld system.

  • I got my notice that I am officially admitted to University of Illinois. That makes me so happy. I am sick of the general education core. That sounds stupid, but its true. I’m just totally sick of it, and I’m ready to move on.

  • If anyone doesn’t already know, I am coming back to the states for a visit in mid-May, for one and a half or two weeks. If you’re in the Fort Worth area and would like to arrange a time to hang out, fire me off an email or something.

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14 April 2008