Blues Brothers Cool Kind of Faith

As I created this blog and chose the theme “Deeper”, I was afraid of sounding like an old (talking ‘70’s) Saturday Night Live bit called “Deep Thoughts with Jack Handey.

Remember the scenic photos accompanied by elevator music as Jack’s voice offered “deep thoughts” such as “I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it.” Or “Instead of having ‘answers’ on a math test, they should just call them ‘impressions’ and if you got a different ‘impression’ so what, can’t we all be brothers?” I think a lot of us are afraid of expressing our faith for fear we will look like a Saturday Night Live skit. Let me explain.

Remember Emily Litella? Gilda Radner at the Week-end Update desk dressed in outdated clothing with her hair in a bun ranting about a topic like “Violins on Television”. Chevy Chase would finally interrupt and tell her the topic was “Violence on Television”. She’d casually turn to the camera and say “Oh, that’s different. Never mind.” Sometimes we don’t speak about our most passionate concerns for fear of being mistaken on some point or looking like a nutcase. We avoid getting closer God for fear He’ll make us sound like Emily Litella.

Remember Al Franken’s Stuart Smalley and his daily affirmations? Stuart always appeared with a mirror beside him. He would turn to the mirror and repeat “Because you’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and doggone it, people like you.” He spoke in a soothing, even tone and was always concerned about people’s feelings – particularly his own. Sometimes we don’t affirm or compliment others for fear of sounding like Stuart. We’re also afraid to get nearer to God for fear He’ll expect us to always act as smarmy as Stuart Smalley.

Remember Land Shark? No deep insight here. I just loved the land shark bit. Candy-gram!

Remember the Coneheads? They were an alien family (from Remulak) stranded on earth and trying to blend in to their human neighborhood. They spoke English but used unfamiliar phrases and had an odd sense of fun. Sometimes as the mother of a Christian homeschool family, I had a terrible fear of looking like the Coneheads. (OK, sometimes we did look like the Coneheads.) I suspect that other people hesitate to expose their faith for fear their heads will suddenly grow pointy and they will no longer blend in with their neighbors (when did that become cool?).

And who wants to look like Dana Carvey’s Church Lady? All this fear of how we might appear to others, surely we know who is behind it all, don’t we? The Church Lady would tell us – Satan! Many of us are afraid to denounce sin as wrong for fear of looking like the church lady. We hesitate to get closer to God for fear He’s dressed just like the Church Lady and ready to condemn us at every turn. (Oh no, Mr. Bill! Were you out having fun? Oh no!)

I want my faith to look cool, Blues Brothers cool, On a Mission from God cool, excellent beat-you- can- dance- to-cool, John Belushi cool. I want faith with sunglasses and a kick-ass horn section to back me up. I don’t want just a Sunday morning “yawn” faith; I want a Saturday Night LIVE faith.

The thing about the players on SNL is that they took the risk of telling the truth as they saw it and of being authentically who they were and it worked. They were afraid but they had a chance to do what they loved and so they ate their fear for breakfast (OK, they also washed it down with booze and pills which is very, very wrong) but they pushed past it.

God offers us His perfect love and then tells us that perfect love casts out fear. Whatever I sound like, I want to sound like the me God created me to be. I want to be fearless (without the booze and pills). I will wash my fear down with God’s perfect love and live out my faith unedited and before a live audience.

Sometimes I know I’m called to look like Emily Litella with a Conehead graduating from Stuart Smalley’s school of self-esteem on a Church Lady scholarship but sometimes I get to go On a Mission from God. Flop-sweat failure or flaming success, I want to be on the adventure God offers to those who don’t sleep in on Sunday morning but are also not afraid to stay up late on Saturday night.

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  1. Love this post! Thanks for sharing it. It’s true how we really have stereotypes in our heads that we don’t want to be like… when really we should have a stronger longing to be like Someone in particular. Good thoughts… Thanks.

  2. Anonymous says:

    So Lori, I’m just wondering…..
    How does the theology of Father Guido Sarducci’s “finda-da-pope-in-da-pizza” play in to all of this?

  3. OH yeah! I forgot Father Guido Sarducci!! You’ll have to come up with that one! 🙂