Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Deus ex machina

"Deus ex machina" is an interesting concept...

It means "God from a machine."

The term comes from Greek and Roman theater, and refers to a hopeless situation in a tangled plot where a god would be hoisted down onto the stage to settle an otherwise insoluble situation.

Really, I think that this is something that many SSA individuals in the LDS church are waiting for....albeit in different ways. Some are waiting for the church to drastically change its stance on homosexual marriage and relationships. Some are hoping for all their desires to simultaneously be fulfilled - they want to be fully active in the church, but also have the emotional satisfaction of a same gender relationship (even if non-sexual). Some are feeling torn apart by two opposing forces, and hope that suddenly one of the two will be wished away - either their desire to stay in the church, or their same gender attraction. Finally, and most unfortunately, some are hoping to die as a way to escape their inner trauma.

I love the idea of deus ex machina...something that will heroically come onto the stage of my life and make all of my problems disappear. I really do believe that this does exist if we want it to, and that it is Jesus Christ. The problem is that our priorities are so freaking mixed up sometimes. Deep down inside, we want Jesus to tell us that we are perfect the way we are. We want Him to come down and vindicate our actions, and to feel sorry for us, and to tell us that our desires are all justified. Basically, we want Jesus to be our deus ex machina in exactly the way that would be most comfortable for us.

Basically, to me that would be like wanting to play a sport well, but you don't have the true dedication that it takes to be criticized by a just can't handle it. You want the coach to tell you that you are SO talented naturally, and that you are the most skillful person on the team. You want the coach to compliment you on every part of your game and to tell you that you are just brilliant. You would get upset if he told you that you sucked sometimes, and that you need to work harder, and that you might not be as good as some of the other people on the team.

I don't mean this post to sound negative at all because I am feeling so optimistic lately. Really, things have been going great and I am in love with life again. However, sometimes it annoys me at how selfish we (SSA-ers) can really be. We LOVE to victimize ourselves and to tell ourselves OVER AND OVER again that we are heroes. That NOBODY understands us. That we are better than other people because we struggle. Because we can't get married. Because we don't always feel welcome in church. Because nobody understands us.

Well you know what, I am sick of it. I am sick of us thinking that we deserve special treatment, and ESPECIALLY that we are an exception to the commandments. Either you believe in the church, or you don't. If you believe in it, that doesn't mean you need to be perfect. I sure has hell don't want to be friends with you if you are. Rather, it just mean that you should ADMIT when you are doing something wrong, and don't blame the church for the pain that it causes you when you disobey. If you don't believe the church, FINE. I don't condemn you, Jesus wouldn't condemn you, but just go your merry way and live your life how you will be happy. That is a central purpose of our life.

If you believe in the church and you try to follow it, then of course you will make mistakes. I make mistakes, I have doubts. That is normal. But that doesn't mean that you should think you are special or better than everyone else, or more deserving of sin because of your temptations.

There are lots of people we could feel sorry for. You know, I feel bad for handicapped people in the church. I feel bad for Iraqi war veterans that lost a couple of limbs. Do you think life will be easy for them? Do you think they are better than everyone else and they can sin because the church just doesn't get it? Just because we are SSA it doesn't mean we are special, and it certainly doesn't mean that God will just lower his expectations.

Basically, I want everyone to be happy and to live their life how they want. CHOOSE what you want out of life and then pursue the heck out of it. In 1 Corinthians 9:24, Paul says, "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain."

Life is hard, but I have made my choice and I am running toward my goal. I hope that those of you who are confused can do the same. There is a deus ex machina out there if you choose to accept Him. But you have to accept Him on His terms, not yours. It's not for everyone, but I hope that as many of you as possible decide to follow Jesus according to His teachings in the LDS church. Of course it is hard, it is meant to be. Don't let Satan trick you into thinking that the church is irrelevant to you. We need this church BECAUSE of our imperfections and our weaknesses and our trials...whatever they may be.


playasinmar said...

"Deep down inside, we want Jesus to tell us that we are perfect the way we are."

I don't know if it's so deep down. You find it in about every post in our little corner of the blogosphere. Reminds me of a song lyric by Primitive Radio Gods:

We sit outside and argue all night long /
About a god we've never seen /
But never fails to side with me /

"I am sick of us thinking that we... are an exception to the commandments."

That is irritating. I've always said we do not exist as a footnote to, an exception from, nor an element outside the Plan of Salvation. I think many bloggers mean to say. "We don't understand our exact role in that great, master plan."

agirlwho said...

We all believe we are exceptions to the rules at times. It is a very interesting temptation: sometimes we are so miserable that we wish to remain in that state because as such, nobody can touch us. We are too special, too misunderstood, and perhaps better than those around us because we feel something that they don't. Well, the truth is, we all have these feelings, they are just built on different foundations of deception.

People with SSA aren't special because they have this specific challenge, they are special because they are children of God. There may be very well-justified reasons to mourn at times in our lives and this challenge is certainly a loss in some aspects, but there is absolutely no reason to give up hope for happiness. Even if life doesn't seem to have a clear path ahead, the Lord does promise us that we will be happy if we follow Him. It might be hard to believe that he will fulfill His promise and keep moving ahead, but all I can say is, I don't want to compromise the promise of happiness that I have. I'm going to keep moving...

Beck said...

"We need this church BECAUSE of our imperfections and weaknesses and trials..."


iwonder said...

I really liked your post. I can identify with what you say because I see some of those same problems in myself. I hate it that I let myself think those things - that my situation is worse than anyone else's, that there is nothing I can do to change it, that there is no way for me to be happy...

It is really disquieting, seeing all those selfish tendencies in myself. I really hate that part of myself that loves to play the victim. I must admit that I do sometimes wish that that it would suddenly be acceptable (in the church) for me to act on my desires.

However, I take some solace in the fact that more of the time, I just want to find someway to be happy in my present circumstances - I just don't know how to do that - and that is my problem.

drex said...

I definitely agree with your post. I think that often we get so caught up in the personal feelings-bearing aspect of blogging that we post selfishly - not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but it results in us either not including the faith-based aspects of our beliefs, or getting stuck on victimizing ourselves rather than promoting faithful solutions to the problems and challenges we face. We're letting our trials speak for us, rather than figuring out what we ourselves believe and letting that come out.

Most people in the church don't understand where I'm coming from. My SSA does make me unique. The thing to remember is that I don't understand their unique challenges, either. Everyone is faced with something specificially taylored to their needs and to help them become the child of God that they're meant to be. It's amazingly selfish to claim that my trial sets me apart from them - it's a short-sighted claim that, when looked at, has no foundation.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you. Most of the time, I can be pretty selfish. But I think that sometimes we hope (at least I do) that our 'Deus ex machina' is not so much a change in the situation, but a better understanding of who we are and how our struggles relate to the Plan of Salvation. Our uncertainties don't come from the situation itself, but rather from not fully understanding it and the most appropriate choices.

Thrasius said...

Thank you "anonymous" for your comment. I appreciate it very much. Feel free to visit any time, and don't stay so anonymous all the time. You are being anonymous in a community that is already anonymous, just think about that... double anonymity.

playasinmar said...

Double anonymity is superfluously redundant. The mind boggles.

Samantha said...

I have an email I'd like to send you, but no address. Would you please email me at:


"And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance."