Wednesday, January 13, 2010

This Blowhard Preacher


I have recently begun re-reading Blue Like Jazz in preparation for taking on Donald Miller's latest book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years (which, as I understand, is grounded in the experience/revelation Mr. Miller had through the process of adapting Jazz into a film).

I am re-reading Jazz because it's been about four years since I read it, and I sense that the experience will enhance my reading of A Million Miles. Donald Miller is hilarious. His stream of consciousness seems to lack an edit button, and we as readers are better for it.

Early in the book, Miller is reflecting on how as an aspiring author, he didn't own a television, and didn't watch much of it. It is undignified and shallow for a writer to debase themselves with the stuff of television. But one day, all that changed...

A couple of years ago, however, I visited a church in the suburbs, and there was this blowhard preacher talking about how television rots your brain. He said that when we are watching television our minds are working no harder than when we are sleeping. I thought that sounded heavenly. I bought one that afternoon. (Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz, p. 15.)

Maybe you have to actually be a preacher to find this as funny as I do. But when I read this line Monday morning, the preschoolers and teachers in the building probably thought there was something wrong with me. Or that I was wasting time watching silly YouTube videos again. I was an embodied LOL.

Bearing the message of the Gospel and the Kingdom is serious stuff, but I don't want to take myself too seriously. Blowhard preachers are funny, but not in a good way. At least not if you're the preacher. Thanks for keeping us honest, Don.

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