Friday, August 25, 2006
Why I don't feel like a good Anything
My posts this week have come from reflecting on my need to belong. I often wonder how much of who I really am (the first face) did I deny or silence in order to gain acceptance among those whose opinion seemed to matter. I tried to be bold and confident as a witness because everyone who taught on the subject seemed as overbearing as a bullmoose. I tried to display absolute cetainty in all my views because those who led me did so. I sold all my vinyl in the 80's so I could be pure (felt guilty for not burning them). I memorized a zillion verses on little cards so I could have a new one to impress people with. I did a lot of things like that over the years. I'm not down on any of those things as wrong. I'm just trying to take a look in the mirror and sort out motive. Did I do some of that stuff out of wrong motive? Absolutely, but I can't change that part of the story. What I find myself interested in is the future. What of those things will I take with me. I'd really like to take who I really am on the boat and leave as much of the poser as possible on the shore . It seems to me that our yearning for community involves to things; finding people who are LIKE me and also who are FOR me. I saw this a lot in collegiate ministry. Students enter the university looking for a place to belong. They look to clubs, organizations, athletics, etc. to find people who are LIKE them. LIKE gravitates to LIKE. Legacies usually find the sorority of their family member. Christians usually find a ministry. Trekkies usually find the Sci-Fi club. Then if the search turns up empty, sometimes the student will adopt a value of the group in order to gain entrance. Alcohol abuse is sadly a big one that lots of kids embrace. But it doesn't have to be a negative value like that. The biggest value shift comes when a person finds a group that is FOR them. The feeling of acceptance is so rare that instead of risking losing that place, the person will unconsciously change behavior. I think this is something of what happened to me in my early years of faith. I don't fault anyone but myself. I'm a big boy now. Time to put away childish things, become the man I really am. And I just might like who I'm becoming.