I don't like email forwards. I realise this isn't a very original sentiment, but it's a genuine one. I especially dislike the ones that promise some kind of pagan good luck--or bad luck--(conditional on one's forwarding the forward) and tack Jesus or some saint onto it, or the ones that say, "If you love Jesus, you'll send this to 25 of your friends. If you don't send it on, you hate Him." I often feel like the true test of whether or not I love Jesus--and the 25 friends--would be my not passing the forward along. The thing that might be mildly unique about my relationship to email forwards, however, is that in spite of my honest-to-goodness dislike of same, I usually read them.
And every once in a great while, there's one that I pass along. Usually not to 25 people, and usually only if it doesn't have a threat at the end. Like the one I got from Y(outh)G(roup)-Dave (not to be confused with Brother Dave) this week. It had lots of crazy and creative and mildly disturbing photos of food art in it like this:
and this:Interspersed with the photos was the stock email forward text about laughing and loving and dancing, with a few small twists. But the photos were, in my opinion, so great, that I decided to pass them along to a friend.
"Text aside," I emailed, "these photos are awesome."
On receipt of the email, however, he wrote back, "I found nothing wrong with the text."
"Oh, good," I replied. "I thought you might have found it cheesy." The last time I emailed anything with a similar sentiment to this friend, he pointed out how trite and attemptedly guilt-inducing it was, so I was a little skittish I guess.
"I thought," he said, "you were objecting to the 'live for the moment' sentiment . . . "
"Nope," I said. But then I started thinking about it. There's no question that I'm not the most spontaneous puppet in the theatre (I just made that up--not sure it works, but it kind of makes me grin so I'm going with it). And there are plenty of pseudo-Christian email forwards, and genuine Christians who forward them, that espouse "live for the moment sentiments." But now he really had me thinking. Is spontaneity about beliefs more than it is about personality? And were the injunctions in the forward, most of which I kind of enjoyed and agreed with, things that I, as a Christian, should instead be wary of?
Sometime this week I'll explicate the email and give you my so-far conclusions. In the meantime, here's what it said. What do you think?
Today is International Disturbed People's Day
Please send an encouraging message to a disturbed friend... just as I've done.
I don't care if you lick windows,
take the special bus
or occasionally pee on yourself..
You hang in there sunshine, you're special
Every sixty seconds you spend angry, upset or mad, is a full minute of happiness you'll never get back.
Today's Message of the Day is:
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you smile.
Send to all the people you care for and don't want to lose in 2010 , even me..
If you get 3 back, you are a great friend.
Life may not to be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we should dance.