It’s been a minute since I’ve been “home”, i.e. in my writer’s chair. Blogging became a very low priority in the midst of trying to graduate from Seminary (which I did on May 10, 2014 with a Master of Arts in Old Testament Biblical Literature! Yes, that was an utterly shameless plug. And, YES, feel free to applaud!! LOL). What’s sad though, is that once I achieved that goal, climbed to the top of that mountain, grasped that crown…..yeah – you get the idea…I all of a sudden began to feel like I had NOTHING to say. Like, nothing, zilch, nada.
In this culture where any and everybody has something to say about any and everything – I had nothin’. But I came to the realization that in the midst of priorities, I simply forgot why I write. Not to be deep or pump my fist at any system…just because I get pure unadulterated joy when a pencil hits paper or when my fingers hit a keyboard.
It’s not about having anything to “say”, it’s about saying what I have. Sometimes I’ll have a rambling love letter written to no one in particular, sometimes I’ll have a dissection of something that struck a cord in me…regardless to what, it’ll simply be whatever I have. And that’s always something to say.
No one will ever know you have a voice if you never speak, and one word can say a multitude of things.
**From the gate, if you are extremely adverse to four to six letter words, you may wanna close your eyes on this one.**
If you’re a dancer, or like to dance, or have any friends who like to dance, and you’re anywhere in the Tri-State area, then you’ve very likely heard of the Freedom Party. (As a matter of fact, it’s FRIDAY…pull your hair into a ponytail, throw on some cute jeans/leggings, dancin’ shoes – like seriously, don’t play yourself and wear heels – and a top you don’t mind sweatin’ out and get there! Digression!! Sorry…not the point…)
Well, one of the spin-masters of that party, Herbert Holler, also lets us into his very interesting mind during the week and below is something he sent this week. I totally agree with him so I told him I was gonna re-post and in his “coolness” he said ‘sure’.
Now I’m sure you’ll notice that he’s coming from the scene on the “other side”, but really, just how different is it in somr churches? How many churches have you attended where it’s more important to get “turnt up” in the spirit than to just rejoice in the Lord? I’ve been countless places where you really would think they were on ‘molly’ at 830 Sunday morning….but ask them what the Word of the Lord was and they couldn’t tell ya. Ooooooh, but the “spirit was HIGH”!!! LOL
So I think we all need to re-evaluate what “cool” is/was and maybe try to get back to it just a little.
Anyway, here’s his email…like I said, there are some previously edited expletives that I’ve left (but you know what they mean) so if you’re highly sensitive to that be aware. Oh, and please don’t run to the left and think the entire post deals with the one situation mentioned, that’s simply an example.
What happened to “cool?”
I know, I know. A bunch of you that I’m friends with on Facebook, or that follow me on Twitter, already read some of this inner dialog. I want to take a minute to really flesh it out though, if not for the sake of this semi-pseudo market research, then at least for the sake of ending my latest obsession. Finding some closure. Maybe even coming up with a passable theory.
So? What happened to it?
In today’s scene, all I hear is “turn up” and “live tonight…like it’s the last night of your life” and all that YOLO sh*t. What happened to just…layin’ up in the cut, chillin’, not acting crazy, just falling back and being easy? What happened to that?! For real?!
When I was growing up, everybody wanted to be cool. Today, it seems like everyone wants to be seen as some superpowered berzerker megaparty time-bomb freakazoid that gives no f***s about anyone or anything. Like “Yeahhh!! We on molly! We on molly!” Really, my dude?! You just swallowed some pure MDMA? That’s great, but why do you have to announce it to the world? I mean, should you?! If there’s anything to be subtle about, it’s your recreational drug activity, you dork.
(I said “dork.” Damn I haven’t heard that one in a while.)
Have you no tact? No cool?
Somehow, and none of us ever saw this coming, EVER, but somehow, being cool became very uncool. Understating hints of a lack of confidence or some type of sadness or melancholy. Being subtle is a personality disorder. Why are you not plastering your good fortune all over every bit of social media? Why are you not taking 100 pictures of yourself in your new outfit and letting us see every one of them? You got a promotion at work? Why come you ain’t tell everybody (including the person’s spot you took) and take a Vine of yourself doing a little happy dance?
“Fun” is so much funner when it’s not forced. “Crazy” only works when you do little to nothing to be crazy. You just is. Crazy! I don’t believe you when you spend time on trying to tell the world you’re crazy. If you make an effort to be “wild,” you are not wild. Miley Cyrus’ tongue has become a prop, a willful gesture dropped on cue for a camera. She’s not wild, crazy, or even slutty, like she desperately wants you to believe. Hungry, maybe? I don’t know. Maybe she’s vision impaired and has found a way to use her toungue to get a better picture of her environs, like a snake?
Eh, I don’t believe you.
It’s like the cool kids at school. ‘Member them? I liked them, no problem with them, at times wanted to be rolling with them (but never did cuz I would never change who I was–an extrovert who liked to clown around a lot). If you analyzed the cool-kid crew, there was the nucleus of cool kids, the two or three who were genuinely “cool,” naturally, and had no idea that they were cool, and would probably even laugh and deny it like, “who me?” They was some cool muhfuggiz that I rocked with. It was the hangers on, though, that were faking. The electrons spinning around the nucleus that were trying too hard to be down with the cool core, the ones you knew weren’t really cool (they knew it too), and coincidentally, the ones that always had to remind the world they were cool and you were not. They were, more often than not, the biggest d*cks in that crew cuz they had to prove that which was so painfully obvious: They were really not cool at all.
Perhaps I’m just getting old.
I look at Miley and try not to judge, try not to see a hot mess, and instead judge her parents. (They failed.) I look at pop culture, today’s youth market, and feel more and more detached from it. I try to relate to these kids, make excuses for their behaviour, remember when I was a irreverant miscreant myself (rappin’ every word to Eazy-E’s “Still Talkin'”), but the more I try to be something I’m not, the more obvious it becomes I’m exactly the thing I’m fighting. Yesterday at the gym, I found myself passing the ball to dude in the post. Somebody said that was “old school.” And here I thought that was just good basketball! What…Am I supposed to pass it to you, so you can do your best Iverson impression and take on the whole team yourself, drive the lane with 5 dudes on your back, only to miss a layup, call “ball” and get into an argument with both teams and everybody in the gym?
I’m not getting old.
I feel like I’m just getting smart. (Finally.)
Though the other day I tucked my t-shirt into my sweatpants…that isht is OLD!
FRIDAY NIGHT = WE DANCE, WE LAUGH, WE SING, WE SHARE, WE PARTY, WE DON’T TRY HARD
The emotion of love fades…
hurt and disappointment will see to that.
The state of love ends…
death will make certain of that.
The action of love never stops…
I am convinced and certain that nothing –
not dark nor light
not good or evil
not up or down
not even hell can separate us from Love.
And now…Kirk Whalum and Lalah Hathaway…
There is a difference between the ‘last’ and the ‘least’.
When all you have is $1 and you give .90 cents, that’s your last.
When you have $1 million dollars and you give .90 cents, that’s your least.
“The world is neither so full of evil that we can’t enjoy it, nor so full of goodness that we can abandon ourselves to it.
When we see something beautiful, there is always the qualifying thought that it is tarnished. When we see something ugly, there is always the qualifying thought that there is something of the Creator hidden there.”
-Steve Turner, Imagine: A Vision for Christians in the Arts
It seems everything and everybody is on steroids. Nothing lasts more than a nanosecond and there’s something wrong with you if you blinked and missed it. Even my Christian family has fallen victim with microwave worship, prepackaged sermons, and shabba-dabba-doo life coaching.
I was listening to an interview with Blue’s Daddy (formerly known as Jay Z/S[dot]Carter). He was talking about music and dropped these gems (I’m paraphrasing here) but I think he’s on to something even beyond that:
We have to figure out how to slow…down. When I get something, I’m gonna live with it for a while. Let it sink in and move me – really take hold. I’m not gonna let anybody speed up my process. I don’t care what’s happening out there. My life is tailor made for me and nobody can force me into something that ain’t genuine for me just so they can move on to the next thing.
There is a population of us that have been deceived into thinking that we are not supposed to shine. That our destiny is and could only be found in “behind-the-scenes” action and that when presented, our choice should always be practicality. As a result, our lamps are placed under our beds (in the far corner) and we have decided that the best thing for us to do is live vicariously through everyone else’s idea of how our lives should be. Our voices have been stilled and our gifts have relegated to hobby status. And each time we do attempt to branch out and reach higher, it’s SO uncomfortable that we ensure our own failure.
This time though, before you get down on yourself and start sipping the pity-party and inferiority kool-aid, just know some things.
1. The simple fact that you had enough faith to do SOMETHING – counts for a lot. There are millions of people who chose fear over faith and confidence…and they’re probably part of the community that tried to kill your dreams off.
2. The more you do a thing, the better at it you become…and the more comfortable. And once you start, don’t let that icky ‘duck out of water’ feeling stop you (that’s what it’s there to do).
3. There’s a whole community of believers rooting for your success in the best way. They’re just waiting for you to realize whose you are, who you are, and what you’ve been gifted.
Be true enough to be open.
Have enough integrity and self-worth to be truthful.
Do the hard thing – open your heart.
Be yourself in all your gorgeous vulnerability.
There’s not much else required of you.
Preface just to give this post a little context:
…my church has been reading through Revelations and right at the beginning, John is writing to a bunch of churches about how they’re doing and what they could/should be doing differently. Revvie (that’s my pastor) asked us to honestly consider which ‘church’ we felt we were right now. This was my response to her. I was absolutely NOT going to put it up but I read a post from a fellow blogger earlier today where the question was regarding what to do when you “lose the fire” for God (his post is here -you should def follow him- http://jsparkblog.com/2013/07/08/question-getting-back-the-fire-for-god/
). Wanna let him/her, you, and me
know that we aren’t alone in this. You’re not the only one. Trust.
So to Revelations…I’m Ephesus, 2:2-7. I don’t even know how to get back “there” right now (v4-5: But I have this against you: You have left the love you had in the beginning. So remember where you were before you fell. Change your hearts and do what you did at first.) I was in love when I was serving. I was in love when I was studying and writing. I was in love when I had time with Him. But most of all I was in love when it all seemed to matter and there was a direction. Now, I don’t see the point of all this scratching and clawing just to stay ‘true’. I can’t seem to put it in terms of “eternal life” as the prize cause I’m still trying to make it through THIS wack life. And this world will leave you a bloody, disgruntled, disappointed, and disillusioned mess if you let it. As I watch Christians do whatever they want, the government do whatever it wants, unbelievers do whatever they want, it just seems it would be easier to be a mediocre Christian and “live my life” too. I wouldn’t have to worry about impossibilities or doubts or God being bigger than my circumstances. I wouldn’t have to wait for answers or struggle through dry seasons or losses or fight with faith. I wouldn’t be forced to dream bigger than me or expect more. I wouldn’t have to deal with conscience or questions or care so much about the truth. I could just coast and live out the life satan figured I’d go for. Unfortunately, like Jeremiah, God tricked me into this life of MORE. I can’t shake it and I can’t move from it. I WISH I could doubt that but I absolutely cannot. I can’t be a Nicolatian – a Christian of compromise. He won’t let me. I ain’t regular. I’m chosen. And sometimes, it sucks.