I often wonder if it’s the real reason we are so obsessed with sex.
Our inner, biological prime directive to create more of us, seems to be an unhealthy obsession in the spectrum of our modern lives. I dunno …maybe I’m just talking about myself, here. Either way, I often wonder if the obsession we cannot seem to understand, articulate or restrain is actually not as much an obsession with the act of sex itself, as it is with the primal instinct to procreate …the act of getting another shot at life.
Babies are just that …another shot at life. It’s why we will die and kill for our children and God only knows what we will do for our grandchildren. Because they are our hope. They are our gamble; our shot at maybe getting it right this time. Sex is frowned on by the old folks and preached against by the pious and scoffed at by the upstanding, until it produces an offspring. Then, all is forgiven because we now watch this new life intently, to see if he or she does the right things; makes the right choices; fixes what we broke.
Our lives and the time in which we live are all marked by a shot at re-birth.
It’s no accident that Christmas and New Year’s are so close in proximity. We created the Christmas rituals out of a mashup of sacred history and pagan dates; tradition and hearsay; folklore and scripture, to become this magical morning where our children’s’ eyes fill with wonder and for a brief moment they are at one with the beautiful world. We cling to those moments and try to re-live our own lost magic through them.
Then, a week later, we raise our grown-up toasts to new beginnings and resolutions and re-sets and getting right all the things we couldn’t get right in the previous year. We desperately seek re-birth in our most celebrated holidays.
On the first day of this year, the man wearing the smile bagged my groceries …and I knew he was lying. He’s a Facebook friend of my wife’s. And though he always greets us with a smile, we know (through his posts) that he struggles with feelings of inadequacy and loneliness. He wonders why he’s on the planet and asks publicly if he matters at all. Every time he bags my groceries I want to pull him aside and say, “dude …you matter to me. I love seeing you here. It helps me make sense of my life when I see you here.” But that seems a bit heavy for the grocery line.
Maybe this year I’ll get the courage to say it.
So much of what we are searching for is meaning. We want to believe there was a reason for all of this. We need to know something deeper was happening that just waking up and making coffee and going to work and taking a vacation and posting it all on social media …then doing it all again, the next year. We’re searching for the divine and the eternal. It’s why we still go to church even though we probably don’t believe half of what they’re saying from the stage and only tolerate the worship band. It’s why we pray even though we’re not exactly sure who is listening or where they might actually be. It’s why we cry at weddings even though we know they probably won’t make it.
We need some magic; some hope; some redemption. We want it all to make sense and we want to make sense in it.
What if I told you that you were part of the powerful play, whether you wanted to be or not? What if I told you that you were divine, even when you felt corrupt? What if I told you that everything single thing you ever did was important? Would that seem far-fetched?
We look for meaning in the winning of a football game. We look deep in the eyes of our children for that spark on Christmas morning. We drink and ingest substances to feel good again and hopeful. We raise our hands and sing worship songs. We listen to pastors and priests and rabbis and imams tell us where to zig and zag, and how we should conduct ourselves. We resolve to get back in shape and cut out the toxins and find our “old self” again. We bounce babies on our knees and hope they hold the keys to something …something we lost.
We’re searching for the truth; for rebirth.
I’m a person who often allows things to fall into disrepair. Things around the house, projects I should pay closer attention to, even relationships, sometimes fall by the wayside. When I analyze why I do this, it usually comes back to my not believing in my own importance or my own worth. And I often wonder how many great and important moments or opportunities I’ve let slip away in pursuit of a different, more perfect one …somewhere, out there.
Maybe we should be accepting our here-and-now and understanding the sacredness of the moment at hand. Maybe it isn’t about somewhere else or something else or something better or newer. Maybe everything is about right now. Maybe right where you are and what you have to offer at this very moment is the magic. Maybe you’re causing ripples on the ocean without even knowing it.
Jesus offers us a rebirth. But the more I learn about him, the more I wonder if his offer at rebirth was simply a way of allowing us to embrace how amazing our first one was.
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