Monday, February 12, 2007

"Blessed are the Uncool"

Hehe... I saw this title to a book and I thought it was, um, Cool. :)

"Blessed are the Uncool." I only saw the title and a short description of the book in a magazine, so I don't know the true substance of the book, but the implication really fascinates me, especially in today's "cool" culture.

I didn't try really hard to be "cool" when I was growing up, but I do remember that I did try at least a little, and sometimes I felt bad about myself because I just wasn't one of the cool kids. The photo here is from almost 20 years ago. I was mimicking a friend who really thought he was the stuff. :) I grabbed his hat, rolled up my sleeves, unbuttoned an extra button and turned my collar up. I don't know if you can see it, but there's also a toothpick or straw in my mouth. Do I know how to act cool or what!

Or what.

But that's cool, you see. Today's pop culture, and even today's Christian music culture, is based a lot on having a cool image. And that's alright. It's all fine and dandy. To reach the youth of today, whether you're doing it for good or for evil, you have to speak their language and/or appear larger than life to them. I get it.

And I know that if I were to be put in that kind of position, I would totally be faking it!

And I'm much more content when I'm living a life in which I don't have to fake anything. My closest friends - those who know me and love me --- and LIKE me - do not like me because I am cool. I don't say all the right words at all the right times or in all the right ways. I don't go out of my way or spend any money on trying to look cool. When it comes to coolness, I have two left feet.

And I don't want to say there's anything inherently wrong with being cool. I have a friend who recently told me that she is the "cool" aunt to her nieces. She's not out to turn them into little heathens, but rather by being there for them and not judging them and by listening to them and speaking their language, she can have some influence in their lives.

But what I'm saying here is that if I have act like something that I'm not in order to get people to pay attention to me and like me, then I want NOTHING of it! I want my life to be "what you see is what you get." I have close friends and relatives on both extremes of "legalism" and "licentiousness" and everywhere in between. In my day to day life, I communicate with people from all kinds of backgrounds, cultures, creeds, beliefs, social status - and levels of "coolness." Do you know what a juggling act it would be if I had to always act like someone different depending upon who I was around???

Well, if I was completely honest, I'd have to say that I still do my juggling act here and there. Lord, get me out of the circus and lead me deeper into your grace where the only thing that matters is that I'm accepted in the Beloved (Jesus), based upon no act whatsoever that I've put on for Him!

1 comment:

  1. Howdy. I have to admit - it sounds so self-centered - but I found your blog by Googling my book. My name is Paul Grant, author of Blessed are the Uncool. I'm from Wisconsin, and have passed through Waterloo on a few occasions.

    I think you guessed the main point of the book - that our Christian lives will be healthier when we stop trying to be cool. Anyway, I've gone ahead and sent you a Myspace friend request. You can also reach me at my blog (click on my name).

    Have a nice day!