I’ve been at Jeremy’s place in Tennessee for a few days so far. He always leaves the light on and the door open. What a great friend and his tolerant wife. Just making a little circle while I’m “home”.
It runs from Chicago to Michigan, down to Nashville, and maybe up as far as Minneapolis and back. I’m headed to Don’s tonight for an overnight. When you’re 41 years old, it’s pretty cool to have a 35 year old friendship. (We met back in first grade.)
It’s different every time in Nashville.
So many seasons here. I can’t drive a mile without an old story popping into my head. I woke up this morning, panicked about where I’m at, thinking about never marrying, no kids, what I did with life, how it’s more than half over more than likely, blah, blah. Oh well, what’s the point of worrying about it anyway? It’s normal for me to go mentally downhill while I’m sleeping.
Trying to write a blog for the first time in a while. It’s always the same thing-fear of posting the wrong thing or misrepresenting myself… stupid really. Just lazy because I don’t want the trouble of doing it. But when you phase out of everything, you get depressed and have nothing to live for. It’s a mess.
So about writing. I quit Facebook because it’s like a self-exhibition and I was spread way too thin. And the more “friends” I got, the more the news feed became just like a normal newspaper anyway. I think, “Oh they had a baby. He’s cute… Wait, who are those people again anyway? I don’t even know them. Well, I’ll go through and delete some friends I don’t know so what I’m reading about isn’t so anonymous. ‘Delete friends I don’t know?’ Isn’t that some sort of oxymoron?” Ok, deactivated.
But there’s a connection between this and writing. Why would people even care about what I post or what I write anyway? But some actually do care, so there’s got to be a balance between being seen and trying to make myself look like something. So if I’m posting pictures for people to see and writing blogs for people to read, are they the real pictures and the real writing or am I just pretending? I’m just a normal person, not doing anything particularly interesting, and today I might be depressed, but what if I want the world to think I’m a big star, surrounded by interesting people, having the time of my life every second? Welcome to social media.
But this “double life” thing is important. It’s one thing to know you’re something, trying to look like something else. It’s totally another thing when you, yourself can’t tell the difference. Ever since I was a kid, I worked at the art of looking like I was something I wasn’t. I did it in church. I did it in school. I never wanted to be in those places but had to be. It could go on and on. As a person who drank and partied daily, I made an art of trying to deceive the police and everyone else. It’s better to look sober even when you’re not. It’s better to look like you’re not carrying drugs even when you are. Sometimes it worked, but the effort was always there. Then one day I came to my senses while sitting in church, and thought, “You know what? It seems like coming to church might actually be connected with worshiping God! All this time I’d never put the two things together.”
The Bible talks about this. Isaiah 29:13 says this:
“These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.”
I’m not saying school should be optional for kids. I’m just pointing out a danger for us as adults in a society that rewards people-pleasing and falling in line with social norms. It’s easy to pretend we’re something we’re not. In a free country like America where we’re not persecuted for going to church, and may even be applauded for it, the danger of being a fake phony presenter increases. It’s easy to look like salt but not really be salty.
Of course God sees the heart, which is sobering to say the least, but in the end, the opinions of others won’t amount to much anyway. Actually, the opinions of others won’t amount to anything at all. It’s confusing and complicated trying to please people all the time.
But this is actually freeing. I’m definitely not there, but this verse is reassuring to me. Rest.
” Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”