I would like to take a minute to tell you about how things were back in the day. I know any post that starts with “Back in my day” should be immediately suspect and so I must also ask you to take this with a grain of salt. I haven’t done any research on this post and perhaps I am misremembering.
But it seems like back in my day the religious materials in my house–Guideposts and The Upper Room–used to be a bit more exciting.
Now, The Upper Room is a daily devotional guide and the devotions are written by different people with the end goal of giving you a prayer and a little anecdote and a Bible verse to dwell upon. But every once in a while, the anecdotes were awesome, like about how some kid lost his best friend in a terrible white water rafting accident and he could never go near the river again until he came home one day and found a mysterious white water rafting raft oar in his kitchen still wet and this was a sign from God that his friend was in Heaven. Blessed are the pure in heart, etc., etc.,
And you could count on that every month from Guideposts. They had a feature called “His Mysterious Ways,” that was every month chalk full of the creepiest-assed shit you can ever imagine all retold to prove that God really does exist and meddles in our lives in such a way as to cause little Methodist girls to not be able to sleep at night.
Well, I was flipping through my parents The Upper Room and that thing has gotten deathly dull. It’s all full of “oh, here’s some small thing that got me thinking about God” or “here’s a time that I thought things were bad, but it all worked out just fine, thanks to God.” Day after day, same thing. No ghosts, no weird voices, nothing.
And Guideposts… don’t even get me started. Have you seen an issue of Guideposts lately? It’s all “Maria Menudos loves her dad very much” and “this woman loves her paralyzed brother and Superman very much.” and “This woman loves her dog and sheep very much.” I didn’t see any mysterious ways. It’s just this “We’re all good people who love each other very much and God loves us.” crap.
What happened? Was there some big scandal where it was discovered that there was just one guy, perhaps a failed fiction writer who was submitting all these stories as all these different people, but the events never actually happened? Has it just fallen out of fashion?
It’s kind of sad. I feel like a scary bit of my childhood is gone.