Sunday, March 25, 2012

Y-E-S Send?

Well, I’ve done it. Three little letters with the potential to change my entire life: Y-e-s. And then the ultimate commitment: send. A life’s ambition ruined in less than ten seconds.
This afternoon, stuck without internet or email access, and too low on cell phone battery to wait out the interminably long message on my employer’s voicemail service, I sent a text. Yes, I texted. If you’ve read my bio, you know that it was my goal to die without ever having done so . . . I wanted my epitaph to read, “i nvr txtd.” Alas, that is now impossible.
I fear, however, that having once done the dirty deed, I will now be expected to continue doing it. I am no longer a virgin; I have become “textually active” (if you will excuse the pun). My friends will now demand that I respond to their texts and will take offense when I don’t. No longer can I hide behind the eccentric but respectable excuse of total abstinence. People will not accept it. “You did it once,” they will say, and then they will ask me to prove my love for them by doing it again. And again. And again.
Is this right, I ask you? Should someone be expected to continue in a self-destructive behavior just because of one slip? If this rationale, so often applied to sexuality, were to be extended to other areas of life -- for example, alcohol consumption and over-eating -- institutions such as AA and Weight Watchers would have to close their doors. So would the church, for at the heart of the gospel is forgiveness of sins and repentance. This is the first message Jesus preached: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Over and over he told those he forgave, “Now go and sin no more.” The Apostle Paul wrote, “Should we go on sinning so that grace may increase? God forbid!” and the Apostle John warned that no child of God can live in sin. 
So now I find myself torn. Should I repent of my momentary weakness -- the fact that I texted “Yes” rather than give up a paying kayak job -- and resolve never to text again? Or should I sigh and admit that I was a fool to imagine that I could hold out against the pressures of society to conform?

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