I take the term from a line in Pink Floyd's album The Wall, when the protagonist Pink looks at the audience and realises that whereas he is in it for art for art's sake, the people there at the show, who should be hero worshipping / sharing in the artistic moment are merely there because:
"You though ya might like to go to the show to feel the warm thrill of confusion, that space cadet glow."And how many devout worship leaders, ministers or general-purpose looker-down-uponers have never thought to themselves, "Here I am. preaching/praying/pebble-holding my spiritual heart out, and it is like unto pearls before swine to these pew-fillers / bean-bag-dwellers before me, who are probably only wondering whether there are Jaffa Cakes with the coffee again*. Oh why are they not as spiritual, as close to God - as talking-to-Jesus-with-every-breath as I am? Why can't they see how beautiful and loving God is - just like I can?"
And today I've had a bit of a weary day. It's been a lot of admin - those receipts don't burn themselves - and then there's been a lot of wondering about the cost of repairing the drains, and having to sit through three presentations as to the finer points of our potential new burglar alarms.
And so this evening, at the St Swithin's special service, "Throwing around of Beakers", I just felt that chucking water about in a liturgical way was just - you know - going through the motions. The meaning was gone, not even the space cadet glow. And if all you're doing is throwing water at people in a liturgical setting, I mean what have you achieved by the end? Just wet Beaker Folk and smashed crockery is about where we're at.
After the service, Ethyl came up to me. She thanked me for the "truly heart-changing act of worship." As screaming Beaker Folk had dodged flying earthenware, and water had splattered the walls, she found in it a poignant reminder of how precious and fragile the earth is, as Mother Julian of Norwich recorded, presumably recollecting a similar liturgy.
Ethyl's gone off to plant a clover bed to encourage bees, and raise a collection to support a school in a backwoods area of Malawi.
I wonder what a space cadet glow feels like? Might be an improvement.
* No. Do you think we're made of money?