Are we spiritual zombies?

Spiritual Zombie

Yesterday, Tony London, a childhood chum of mine posted a photograph of a church advertising “drive-thru prayer” on Facebook. Tony’s comments on this were a lament for living in a place and time where “instant gratification and technology are against the law.” OK, Tony, I’ll give you an “A” for hyperbole regarding the “against the law” part. You can’t really mean that where technology is concerned (?), but “instant gratification”? I can dig having less of that and there is no doubt that technology brings “instant gratification” to a whole new destructive level.

We all know how well our bodies have done with drive-thru food, now we have drive-thru prayers! Yea! Our spiritual lives can now be malnourished, too! Becoming cynical and snarky, I went outside to prune my roses and ponder the implications of drive-thru prayer. There is just too much going on here not to write about it.

I’m not religious. I’ve honestly tried to be. I really have. You name it, I’ve probably tried it, but it hasn’t worked for me. I respect it all, and appreciate people’s choices and practices. If it’s good for them, it must be good for all of us. I like “goodness”. I’m sure the Pastor at the drive-thru prayer place is well intended. He, no doubt makes people feel good by offering this service. I wonder, though, about the intentions of the people participating in drive-thru prayer. What propels someone to pull off the road, go through a drive-thru and pray? How does it work? Do they have set hours or are they open 24 hours like Taco Bell? Is it like a thirty second Lord’s Prayer; put your dollar in the plate, and drive off kind of deal?

I try to get passed the mechanics of it to explore the idea of intention, which another friend, Melinda Potter Bloom chimed in about and she is absolutely spot-on. If it’s all well-intended, then surely this is a good thing, right? I just can’t get around the mechanics of it, though because it is so surface oriented; so convenient. Where is the depth? Where is the meaning?

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” Start your engine, put ‘er in gear and move along. “Next?”


Maybe this gets to why congregating to pray has never worked for me. I’ve never viewed prayer as something you do “on the surface”. I’ve participated in a lot of different kinds of group prayers and mostly they were quite mindless, at least for me; a monkey see, monkey do kind of thing. I just couldn’t dial into it. I’ve never viewed the concept of prayer through the idea of consumerism, or convenience, either, which brings me to my current literary project, the iconic classic symbol for mass, mindless, lazy, convenience driven consumerism, the zombie. Please read the blog on Thad David’s, my collaborator, website for some more insight on this literary symbol:

Are we spiritual zombies?

These issues run deep. They’re personal and yet universal. I think of Joshua Blair, one of the main characters in Divide Then Conquer. He’s a young devout Christian with a huge personal secret. He’s handsome, educated and his community, Savannah Safe Zone is surrounded by zombies. Now, he is faced with having to come to terms with the concept of the spiritual zombie. He sees it in himself and witnesses it all around him. As his physical world crumbles, will Joshua be strong and honest enough in body as well as spirit to forge a new more authentic life for himself and awaken the spiritual zombies around him, or will he follow the spiritual zombie horde and remake what’s left of his world in the image of the time before the Zed invasion when spiritual zombies ruled?

J.L. Koszarek
Pass Christian, MS

2 thoughts on “Are we spiritual zombies?

  1. Why is it so difficult to believe that where you pray matters to God. It may matter to us, because we who do not believe or know God, can not understand His ways. I for one have experienced him in a much more beautiful way than I did in my youth when I did not know much about Him or his ways. The Bible says to seek Him and you will find Him. This is no different that any relationship, it takes a wanting to and time and effort too. God you see know our heart, our intention. We see things in a much different light most of the time and can not conprehend His glory for all man kind. I have personally prayed while standing in a subway station watching a man beg for food, I have prayed at the bedside of a dear friends mother dying of cancer, I have prayed for parents of children at a parent conference meeting to address the importance of Boy Scouts for their childrens’ wellbeing. I have prayed in the bathroom, in a car, in a funeral home etc… Why not a drive through? God knows our hearts. The power with praying has healed people, transformed lives and shaken goverments. Why not pray where ever is important to you at a time when you need to? Does this too need to be governed or need to be socially accepted by the ones who do not believe? I say WWJD! DO!

    • Hi Melinda,

      First off, thanks for commenting on my blog!

      I really think you and I are on the same page. All along in my personal journey, I never needed a congregation to pray, in fact, they make me uncomfortable, but that’s just me. I can only speak for me. I agree with you that intentions are everything. I’ve just never viewed prayer as a “drive-thru”, or possibly just a drive-by, but it seems everything is today in this crazy, rushed consumerism world we live in. Are drive-thru prayers able to provide that quiet place of intention? Maybe. I honestly don’t know. At the very least, I am curious about it. What I fear most is losing the sacredness of prayer and in doing so, losing the sacredness that is our spirit. This is exactly what Joshua Blair struggles with in Divide Then Conquer.

      Just an aside: I was shocked today when my friend filled me in on actual drive-thru funerals! I am proud to sound like my mother when I say, “What is this world coming to?” Tony’s post the other day just flipped my lid a little!

      Divide Then Conquer has been a great challenge for me and a wonderful project for my collaborator, Thad David, who served two tours in Iraq with the USMC, and I to explore, with the art and craft of fiction, the incredible depths and the striking shallows of the human spirit. We are able to explore the grace, heroism, and love that make humans such amazing survivalists against all odds, including our own moral and ethical short-comings. To say the least, it’s been an extraordinary journey for me personally as well as in the literary sense. I hope you enjoy the books. Divide Then Conquer is a young adult story appropriate for anyone 13 years old and over. Parts 1-5 are already available for download from Amazon, Nook and ibooks, and part 6 is scheduled for release April 1st. Divide Then Conquer is only the beginning of what we hope is an epic series about the strength and beauty of the human spirit in the face of incredible adversity.

      I’m delighted you chimed in and shared my blog on Facebook! Thanks for your comment and your support. It means more than you know.

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