High on the Plains: Billy Graham and the Lorazepam epiphany


Chad Christensen

This last Friday around midnight I found myself leaping from couch to couch, buck-naked except for a cowboy hat and a fully modified Nerf N-Strike Maverick REV-6 pistol with all intentions of making a headshot on my elusive cat, Walter.

It’s a game he and I have played since the beginning, with Walter usually winning. The naked part was by accident, of course. A moment created out of pure necessity.

And it was as I was leaping onto the recliner, nearly falling into the glass coffee table, that I had two epiphanies simultaneously.The first being that a person should be careful when mixing alcohol and Lorazepam. The second being that America may be having a kind of spiritual crisis.

And now I’m not necessarily talking about the spiritual crisis Billy Graham was gibbering on about back in 1972, how America is bathing in sin and that millions of people are pretending to be happy but deep down they’re all just sad and lonely. (I found this article on ChristianPost.com. It was awful. I wouldn’t read it.)

What I’m curious about is whether people are even thinking about spirituality before they have a near death experience. Big religions aside, do people need something worth living for other than their iPhone 6 and latest version of the 99 cent McChicken? Family and loved ones come to mind but I don’t know. Maybe that’s not enough for some. Maybe people need answers. A better reason to live.

I’d have to say my first spiritual experience came from a guy named Guru Mike whom I met at a music festival out in the scary deserts of Washington. Now granted it wasn’t the most eloquent of places to have a spiritual encounter and Guru Mike didn’t ride in on a donkey or anything, but what he offered was a unique kind of awareness that I found beneficial. But of course, the spiritual journey has many paths and only some are highly condemned.

Anyhow, this got me to thinking that maybe I should try another perspective, which lead me to type in the words America’s spiritual crisis into Google search. It pulled up several links of craziness. One of them being a YouTube video of an interview with Carl Gallup, a Baptist minister, on the show Christ in Prophecy. If you watch this video, it’s more likely you’ll want to jump off a bridge rather than stay alive, which seems to me like the exact opposite of what Gallup had intended—but it’s hard to say during these trying times.

The point is, I wasn’t comforted, which inevitably led me to buy an iPhone 6 and several McChickens.

So now, days later, having fully recovered from my near death experience with the coffee table, I’ve come to the conclusion that America isn’t having a spiritual crisis.

In fact, I’m sure everything is just fine.