Sunday, September 2, 2012

Affluence and Unreality

More from my secret diary, names still changed to protect reality ...
November 4, 2005

On tour with my actress Vickie, who is very innocent, but also quite vain. She told me a repulsive story about her faith in this woman who claims to have raised a million dollars to produce a movie that this woman has written and that this woman is going to star in. Vickie has been keeping in touch with her for two years, and has recently offered to suck butt to get a role in the picture. “She told me she’s not sure there’s a role for me in the film, but there might be a small one. I told her I was willing to do anything to help her, anything at all. I said, ‘You’ll need a personal assistant to run errands for you and help you arrange things and help you on set. I’ll be glad to do all that for you,’ and she said that definitely sounds like a possibility!!!’”

Later, sitting at lunch with Vickie and listening to her talk about her pipe dreams regarding screenwriting and so forth, it began to dawn on me. She was saying, “I’d love to do some writing, and I plan on entering ideas in notebooks throughout the day, but it’s so hard to find time for that …” This from a girl who does not work, who lives with Mommy and Daddy, who has no children to care for, who sleeps until noon, who’s not in school, and who spends her time taking odd acting jobs when she can get them. She does not run her own business, she has no scheduled prayer, worship, or study time from what I can tell, and there are no demands placed upon her to feed or care for herself or anyone else.

What a life of make-believe she leads, from her fantasies about stardom to her quasi-virginal affair with Mark, to everything in between.

What is it about this attitude and this unreal life that she lives? If she had a job and a family, if she weren’t at age 26 still living as if she were 15, if she were truly in the theatrical or motion picture industry, if she had a reason for getting off her butt and working on these things, she might get them done. The unreal life that she leads is not helping her grow up, follow her calling, or even get a damn thing done during her days that are filled with vanity and fantasy.

I was like this. I know this feeling.

It seems that Real Life – which is to say, suffering, hard work, and sacrifice – Real Life is what saves us. The Lord did not make it easy for us to enter the new Sabbath. Leisure will only be sanctified for us when we get there for real – when we pay the price by suffering and sacrificing for what we love. And Christianity is the only religion that is about Real Life – the only religion that has the cross.

Affluence, prolonged adolescence, and welfare are poison for our souls. Suffering is, paradoxically, our antitoxin.

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