I believe I am well on my way to sainthood.
Wait. Before you castigate me, let me tell you. I’ve done my research and I’ve discovered the key to sainthood that all true Biblical saints possessed in abundance. It’s making yourself look as much like an idiot, a wretch, or a scumbag as is humanly possible.
Now I’m not talking about the countless saints that needed papal approval. You’d be hard-pressed to find any of those who even blew their noses too loud. No, I’m talking about the real saints, the ones God himself dubbed as worthy of praise. The ones who’ve not only had their few good deeds lauded, but their most selfish and ungodly thoughts and actions indelibly stamped in the most printed book of all time.
Look at David. Poets and painters immortalize him. Sculptors beautificate him (I’m not sure if that’s a real word, but it sounds eloquent). Filmmakers give him the hair of Brad Pitt, the grin of Tom Cruise, and the bod of–who was People’s most beautiful man last year?–uh, Jake Gyllenhaal. But people who’ve never read the Bible don’t know that David was a murderer. And I’m not talking about his sling-swinging head-bashing of Goliath for which won the Best New Soldier of the Year Award. No, not only was David a murderer, but he was also a dirty-dealing politician who systematically manipulated the death of his mistress’ faithful husband, a guy so clean and full of integrity that his sandals must have squeaked when he walked. Yes, King David, the very man after God’s own heart was also an adulterer.
Jacob, the third of the famous three Fathers of the Faith–Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob–was a conniving, manipulative swindler and a thief. He conned his brother out of his inheritance, tricked his blind and ailing father into handing over the family birthright, and then for years manipulated his uncle so he could retain for himself the best of the flocks he’d bred for the man while in his service. Is it any wonder Jacob’s own sons imitated their father’s character by lying and selling their own brother (Joseph) into Egyptian slavery?
And let’s not forget about Peter, the saint with perpetual foot-in-the-mouth disease. Yes, for three years Peter was Jesus’ #1 Guy, but he also was the one who rebuked the Son of God when Jesus said he had to go to the cross, he was the one who wouldn’t let Jesus wash his feet, and he was the one who spent the last twenty years of his life haunted by dawn’s cockcrow because he was too cowardly to admit his association with Jesus even to a lowly servant girl.
And I’m just getting started. People who claim the Bible is a fabricated document haven’t looked very closely at it. Why in the world would anyone who wants to make their religion look so good make their heroes look so bad? Abraham was a liar, Solomon was a womanizer, Jonah was coward.
Nowadays we wouldn’t need the Bible to shout out our deplorable behavior and secret sins, we’ve got YouTube, cell phones, and Facebook. And once the Real You has hit the “www”, baby, there’s no bringing it back.
Me, well, my outing is not so grand as murder, deceit, or betrayal (thank heaven). Although with iPhones as common as oxygen, I’m not even safe in my own shower. We were fortunate enough to have some friends come into our fitness studio after Christmas and shoot a webisode (that’s internet lingo for a talkshow episode on the web). It was fast, it was fun, and best of all, it was FREE.
And it shed our studio in such a great light. But–and here comes my confession–it also made me look like I’m four months pregnant. Yes, I know it’s my vanity. But it was also glaring evidence of my over-indulgance in Christmas cookies, a major no-no for a fitness instructor. Worse, was my complete screw-up of demonstrating the difference between a salsa and a merengue–a Zumba instructor’s very, very, very basic dance steps. My only excuse that I must give my scandalized Latin friends, is quite simply, I’m white. As gringa as Shirley Temple (although Little Shirley, even at the age of five, could have tapped JLo under the table).
All right, so maybe the revelations of my holiday culinary indiscretions or my lack of dance education isn’t grounds for sainthood, but it certainly does wonders for my humility and my gagging need to always look good. We try so hard to hide what God sees so readily because we’re afraid of what people will think about us. I’m sure if we focused less on our deficiencies and more on God’s perfection, life would be a whole lot simpler and a whole lot less stressful.
I think many of us sometimes think we would love to have lived in Bible times and actually watch Jesus heal the blind or stand at the Red Sea when Moses parted the waters or witness Elijah’s humbling of the Baal priests on Mt. Carmel when he called down fire from heaven.
Me, uh-uh. No way. With my luck, the prolific scribes of our most sacred writings would have caught me with more than my hand in the cookie jar. And then every single person who could ever read would bear witness to my Tollhouse temptation.
No thanks. I’ll take my chances with YouTube.