Is Kimmy Schmidt Better Than the Bible?
The other day I tweeted the following:
In a previous life, posting something like this online would have resulted in DEFCON 1 panic mode.
Fortunately, this isn't a previous life. I have better boundaries with people these days, and I'm not constantly worrying that someone will grab me by the arm and tell me how deeply concerned they are for my soul.
I also have a healthier relationship with the Bible.
I didn't get here overnight though. I've had many DTRs with the Bible, and we've even broken up a few times over the years. Sometimes you just need some space to work things out, you know?
For me, "working things out" looked like a bunch of soul-searching and question-asking that led me to some places that aren't strictly speaking orthodox. I had to explain to the Bible all of the ways in which it was misused by religiosity, and I had to come to grips with a lot of baggage that it carried.
But, I'm now at a better place, and boy do I have a word of the Lord for you:
One of the ways in which people get uptight about the Bible is how obsessed they are with making sure everyone is reading it everyday no matter what the heck they've been through or are currently going through.
Just. Read. Your. Bible. And. Everything. Will. Be. Okay.
Except, it won't and we all know that.
I've been going through some pretty rough stuff over the past year (who isn't!?), and I'm just going to come right out and say it: The Bible hasn't been helping me all that much.
I think part of this is because I've read and heard so much of it for my entire life. After all, I do have the fr*cking Timothy Award.
But that's okay, because contrary to popular belief you can find spiritual nourishment and personal encouragement in a lot of places other than the Bible. You've just got to figure out what those places look like for you.
As I said in the tweet at the beginning of this post, the quirky TV show called Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is one of those "places" for me lately.
If you're unfamiliar with it, here's a summary of what the show is about:
Rescued after 15 years in a cult, Kimmy Schmidt decides to reclaim her life by venturing to New York, where she experiences everyday life with wide-eyed enthusiasm. On a whim, she rents a room from Titus, a gay wannabe Broadway actor, who makes ends meet as a street performer in Times Square. The unlikely pair find they're well-suited to help each other out, with Titus reintroducing Kimmy to modern life, and her providing him with the inspiration that you should never give up. Together they'll make it through whatever life throws at them.
I won't bore you with all of the details about how amazing I think it is, but I will say that it's doing something good for me on a deep, soul-level.
I can't quite put my finger on why, but I think it has something to do with the show's unique comedic style, Kimmy's innocent and uplifting view of a sometimes dark world, and all of the subtle (and not so subtle) commentary on religion.
Speaking of commentary on religion, here's some of my own...
Religion will often teach you that truth is always universal and the same everywhere for everyone all the time. It'll say things like:
"When you don't want to read your Bible, that's when you should read it the most."
But here's the thing, folks... There's a season for everything.
The Bible isn't always the answer. Sometimes the Bible won't help you. If it has a lot of baggage for you, it might be a good idea to take a break and maybe come back later with a fresh set of eyes and a new perspective.
Find some other things that nourish your mind, body, and soul. Go for long walks. Draw silly cartoons.
Watch that movie (yeah you know the one) that makes you laugh and that connects with you on some unexplainable level so much so that you tell everyone else to watch it even though you know it won't have the same impact on them as it does on you.
Find God in all of the places that religion told you she wasn't present.
People have been experiencing and relating to the divine for a long time without having access to the Bible. The idea of a "daily quiet time" is a modern invention. That doesn't mean it can't be good for some people at some times, but it also means it's just another tool in a vast toolbox.
Different tools for different moments.
So, to wrap up, we need to finally answer that question that literally no one else is asking:
Is Kimmy Schmidt better than the Bible?
And the answer is yes. Yes, it is.
At least at this particular moment. For me.
Don't leave yet!
Leave me a comment and tell me what non-Bible things have been nourishing your soul lately. Don't be shy!