I feel like I'm trying to figure out how to "get away" with things.
And I know this is wrong. But that's how it feels.
And it centers around envy!
Let me explain. I've recently renewed a corresondence with a dear close LDS RM friend. He lives far away from me so we haven't seen each other for some time now. He and I have shared many similar experiences together, including the experiences of "strugglers" and "coming out" to each other at about the same time. His situation is different than mine in the sense he is not married, has no children, and has his whole life in front of him. Over the course of this last year, and more recently as I've corresponded with him in this last month, he's been able to quickly assimilate into a semi-open gay world that has embraced him with open arms. He has made connections with several guys and begun the adventure of relationships with men, discovering the peace and satisfaction of being open to who is he and no longer being lost in that proverbial dark closet spending time and energy in hiding.
I've congratulated him on this transition and honestly feel he is smart and wise beyond his years and is making intelligent and mature decisions that truly are best for him and his situation. He is approaching this new world in a healthy and head-on-straight way and I couldn't be more proud of him - and I've told him such!
As I've voyeuristically peered into his "new" and "exciting" world of gay relationships, I find myself envious... green with envy as they say as I see that he is doing what I longingly wish I could. As he looks back at me, my "chosen lifestyle" frustrates him to death, because of the angst I endure. It's interesting - our two perspectives of each other.
Now I'm not judging my friend and the choices he's making. In fact, I'm embracing them with him, encouraging him on, as I live vicariously through his ups and downs, infatuations and loves, disappointments and recommitments of the gay world. I'm envious of him and the choices he's making.
Now also, I'm not calling anyone "gay" here a sinner. Nor am I saying that "being GAY" is a sin! I've crossed that stream miles ago! In fact, any faithful reader of this BLOG knows that I prefer even now to call myself "GAY" verses SSA. So, don't anybody go there.
Yet, in my chosen lifestyle, and with my chosen belief system, I find myself desiring to cross the line of "sin" and have extramarital affairs with other guys. Though I've never done it, and have safety checks in my life to keep me from doing so, yet, I've still "desired to sin". I WANT TO SIN!!!
Is it a sin to kiss another guy? Of course not! Unless you are married like me! (You know this sounds like I'm holding a grudge because I'm married - ouch!) But I want to experience what I imagine he's experiencing!
And frankly, such "behavior" looks delicious to the taste and very desireable! And so, I envy those who, unlike me, are able to "get away with it" and cross that line and do such behavior. (NOTE: To my knowledge, my friend has not gone beyond a gay relation of affectionate friendship - kissing, hugging, cuddling etc. and yet even that makes me GREEN WITH ENVY. Such things in my book are NOT a SIN in his situation - in fact they are seen in my eyes as just and appropriate - and as such he is NOT a sinner). I AM THE SINNER HERE - guilty of the SIN OF ENVY, LUST, UNFAITHFULNESS, etc... You name it and I am guilty!
My view is distorted and mistaken... My current musing is somehow twisted to think that sin is something desirable and that those who sin and repent somehow enjoy an "advantage" over those who do not sin. My reaction isn't one of "moral superiority" as it is of ENVY of a carnal nature absolutely drooling over the goodies he's getting to enjoy, and ANGER because I can't have it too! In my case, gay relationships are something that I really WANT to have, but I don't GET to do... so I feel cheated.
Obviously, the Sunday School Answer is...
that those who are righteous who have kept the commandments "get" to live faithfully, "get" to have the companionship of the Spirit, and "get" to become more Christlike, while the poor sinners around us are stuck in the mud until they repent. The recently repentant should envy us our uninterrupted service to the Master rather than us envying their recent bondage to the adversary. The proper perspective is that I "got" to enjoy a relationship with Christ for thirty years, while that poor soul has enjoyed life in Christ only thirty days. I think I'm behind or at a disadvantage only if my hidden value system puts a higher diserability on wickedness than on righteousness! It's a matter of which you really feel is best - the life of sin or life in Christ. If the former, then letting sinners off the hook bothers you, and you want them to suffer (to balance out all that extra fun and pleasure they had and you didn't). If the latter, then you know that their sinful lifestyle was already its own punishment, and you rejoice with the angels over those who have repented and been redeemed.
-- Stephen E. Robinson Following Christ
Yeah, yeah, yeah... I know! I know! I hate Sunday School answers!!!
And I know that GRACE involves mercy and mercy overcomes all and salvation, even exaltation can come to those who embrace the Savior (as was the HIT-YOU-ON-THE-HEAD-WITH-THE-SHARP-END-OF-THE-HAMMER-UNTIL-YOU-FINALLY-WAKE-UP-AND-NOTICE-YOUR-FOREHEAD-IS-BLEEDING-AND-DENTED-IN-BECAUSE-IT-WAS-HIT-SO-MANY-TIMES-IN-THE-SAME-SPOT THEME of General Conference last weekend!!!!) - and it has been the theme of my most recent blog entries and readings...
But you know... I'm not there yet. As much as I want to think otherwise, I somehow can't get over the fact that what I'm doing, the choices I'm making are REALLY better than going off with a guy and doing what comes naturally. I'm really struggling with that concept of others who are "getting away" with stuff while I "struggle to be faithful". I'm forever building up angst with the fact that I want to look back with longing and envy at the pillar of salt! I don't want to hold to the iron rod... unless it takes me back to that salt!
You know, it's like the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). It is NOT a lesson on repentance and forgiveness as it is a lesson of ENVY! The lesson is obviously not of the repentant first son, but of the second son, the faithful son, who never left his father and was there tending to his father's business. He was the one who was ENVIOUS of his brother, envious of his brother's sin, lifestyle, choices, etc. and even envious of the party thrown in his behalf at his return. He was envious that he didn't "get to get away with anything". His reward was the satisfaction of "thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine" (v.31).
Somehow, in this carnal and devilish and imperfect mind of mine, that satisfaction still isn't good enough... I still long for that romantic kiss! I'm still envious of that pillar of salt and the iron rod is getting very slippery! (sorry for the scriptural mixed metaphors).