The Big Gulpers


O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. (Psalm 63:1)

For most of us, God is a bonus feature. The system generally works just fine without any major input from Deity Incorporated. Once a week we may pay our respects to the Great Invisibility.  Some of us more devout types may even take a polite sip of devotion each morning. For the most part, though, our lives are a comfortable, if boring, balance of drudgery and distraction. For most of us the driven life is measured, not by passion, but in miles per gallon.

But there are a few among us—a very few—who are bona fide spiritual wackos—genuine God freaks who can’t seem to get enough of whatever it is they can’t get enough of. They’re never satisfied with the normal religious rations the rest of us live on. Forget your common sippy cup religion; these people are spiritually parched and are looking to clamp their mouths on the celestial fire hydrant. We’re talking obsessive-compulsive religion here. We’re talking deviant devotion, crazy Christianity, psychotic sainthood. We’re talking flake city, baby.

These people have an inner squeeze thing going on. It’s like a stomach ache only different. It’s like they have a spiritual wedgy and just can’t get comfortable in the pews. They have this strange idea that there’s more; more of what they’d have a tough time explaining. Even they can’t really pinpoint what more they want more of. They usually just call it God as in more God. But what’s weird is that the more more they get, the more more they want. It’s like drinking seawater. Now, if you personally don’t have this religious wedgy problem, it’s very hard for you to understand why anybody would want more of something that only makes them thirstier. You would think that less would be better, more or less anyway. Go figure.

So what leads some of us to an over-amped hyper-faith? Well, for one thing, these people obviously still think that God is a big deal. They’re kind of like those sorry Grateful Dead fans that are still out there. Granted, most of us got a little buzz off of God when we first got saved. (Non-evangelicals may experience more of a hum.) But that’s supposed to wear off eventually. These zealous people apparently don’t realize that the party’s over and it’s time to move on. Life is more than drinking from the fountain. People need to get a life, for God’s sake. Shoot. I’m guessing that even God gets tired of people always begging him for more. “What do you want?” he asks. “To glow in the dark?”

Look. Devotion is fine as long as you don’t let it get in the way of important things. Decent folks should keep their religious passions to a minimum. Drink decaffeinated. The key concept here is moderation. God can be a good thing as long as you’re able to manage him. If he starts taking over, you’ve got problems. I should know.


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