Ten Honest Things

Alright, sis, I got your tag…I’m supposed to write an Honest Scrap post, telling 10 honest things about me… You know, I think the older I get, the more things I feel like I can’t be completely transparent about. I know it shouldn’t be that way, but the more people I get connected with, the more people my words can affect, and so I just can’t share everything. But here goes my best shot:

1. I read the Twilight books and liked them. Well, I still haven’t read the last one, so don’t tell me what happens. But I think they’re pretty good. I don’t get what irks people so much about popular novels. It’s almost like some people presuppose that if it’s popular, then it must not be worth much. Then even when they read something genuinely good, they can’t appreciate it because they were already primed to dislike it. I also don’t get how some of us Christians get worked up about anything that smacks of magic or witchcraft or whatever. I know what the Bible says about practicing those things, but that’s not what folks are doing here. They’re just reading a story. And I think it’s really well written. Didn’t like the first movie. Thought the second one was much better.

2. I really don’t like country music. How I grew up in Mississippi without liking country music, I don’t know. But I just don’t like it. It’s too twangy for my tastes, and often it’s really cliche. Of course, so is most jazz, hip-hop, and rock music, but I like the sound of all of that better. Most of the time I listen to whatever plays on the top 40 stations. I’m sure that makes me uncool to not have more definite preferences in music, but maybe I’m just uncool.

3. I am determined to regain the six pack abs of my high school days. Growing up in affluence tends to make you vain, and just like you don’t have to be rich to be greedy, you don’t have to be gorgeous to be vain. It’s wired into me at this point. Having admitted that, I’m still going for it. I’m eating broccoli and carrots and salads and drinking lots of water and protein drinks and running and swimming…you get the picture. I’ll probably get close to the shape I want and then quit because it’s just too much work to keep it up long term. But it’s fun to be in good shape for at least a little while.

4. I like to lay out and get a tan during the summer. This one’s an extension of number three. I can rationalize and justify it with comments about how vitamin D is good for your heart, your bones, and your mood, but then I also know skin cancer’s not good for any of those things, so I’ll have to watch that. But I still think there’s nothing more relaxing than going out in the middle of a summer’s day and just soaking up as much of that light and heat as I can. It’s more relaxing than a hot tub or a massage, I think.

5. I haven’t been able to read my Bible much for several months. That’s a big deal for me, because studying the Bible has been like an occupation for me since I was 16. But nowadays, reading the Bible just reminds me how much my spiritual journey has led me to view so many things differently from how others around me see things. Every page of the New Testament stirs my desire to see things done differently than how things are done, yet I feel powerless to effect the change that I want to see.

6. I’d like to teach more white kids again. I know I shouldn’t admit something like that because it’s just so noble to work with underprivileged, “at-risk” kids like I do every day. But I don’t really think I’m making much of a difference. These kids come from such a messed up culture, replete with broken families and dysfunctional home situations, that I don’t think my time with them is making much of a dent in their world. In fact, I think I seem totally irrelevant to most of my students, because why would they internalize stuff they learn from a guy who is so completely different from them? On the other hand, I see them sit enraptured listening to a black co-worker of mine as he talks about…whatever! And they hang on his every word. I feel like his opinion on stuff sinks in for them like mine never will. So I think I need a little more diversity in my classroom. Right now it’s almost all black, with a few imports from Mexico thrown in for good measure (they’re the best behaved ones of them all).

7. I still wish I had a super power. If I could stop time, I could get tons done while everything else in the world just stands still. Or if I could read people’s minds, I could get so many questions answered so easily. Then again, I can think of quite a few downsides to that gift. Super strength would be nice, or super speed. Invisibility from time to time would be useful. And of course there’s flying. Who wouldn’t love to be able to fly? No matter how old I get, I still wish I had a super power, with or without the cape.

8. Music moves me to tears when nothing else can. Although I am a very sensitive person, more sensitive than most straight men that I know, I find it difficult to allow the emotions of something get to the surface until I can be alone, and even then I may not be able to do it. It takes me time to process things that are important, so my emotions usually lag behind a bit. But when I get inside some really good music, almost any kind, everything comes oozing to the surface and I feel it all. It could be an orchestral piece, it could be just a song on the radio, or even a Publix commercial (man, those things will getchya!)…as long as there are some stringed instruments in there somewhere marking the emotion of the moment, it’ll probably find it’s way inside.

9. I wish I had theme music. This is an extension of both numbers 7 and 8. When I was a kid I wanted to be Indiana Jones. Then I wanted to be Superman. Then I wanted to be Luke Skywalker. Then one day I came to realize what all three of them had in common: Theme music by John Williams. Finally it dawned on me that what I really want is for John Williams to write me some theme music, and just have a full orchestra follow me around and play it at the right moments. Better yet, let them play a score for my entire life, so I can feel all the right things at the right times. I can cry when something sad happens, get excited when something cool’s gonna happen, and even become alarmed when something bad is getting ready to happen. How convenient would THAT be?!

10. I love being married, and having kids. No matter how unimpressive your career choices may be, and no matter how inconsequential you may feel to the rest of the world, you know there are a few people at home for whom you are the world. You set the tone of life for a handful of people, and that’s a powerful job to have. It’s very fulfilling, and I pray that God will entrust me with a very long time to enjoy it all.

Alright, Cat. There you go. Ten honest (if not entirely rosy) things about me. I’ll have to give some thought to whom I will bless with this honor. Thanks for thinking of me.


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8 Responses to “Ten Honest Things”

  1. brotherjohnny Says:

    “Every page of the New Testament stirs my desire to see things done differently than how things are done, yet I feel powerless to effect the change that I want to see”.

    God has given you the vision, and he also supplies the power.

    Whatever the case, He will cause you to both will and do according to His good pleasure.

  2. Cat Says:

    Hello bro! Thanks for indulging me. 🙂 I’m not much of a slather-my-deepest-thoughts-onto-the-worldwide-web-blogger either…but I just kinda thought this was fun.
    Secondly–I think you are great. 🙂
    Thirdly–I think your theme music would be very thought-provoking, interesting, and inspiring! We should call ole John up and ask him his thoughts.

  3. zoecarnate Says:

    What stinks all the more is that a truly traditional Baptist church would be all about dads baptizing kids…sigh…

  4. zoecarnate Says:

    (oops…wrong post.)

  5. sacredsalvage Says:

    I really relate with 5, 6, and 10.

    5 – I used to regularly read the the Bible every year and read Christian books like they were about to disappear off the planet. Now I can hardly consume either. I got so caught up is bringing godly change to my life and the lives around me, that I failed to see my powerlessness to force that change. Now reading is just a reminder of my own inability to consume biblical truth without having a twitch reaction of rejection of my old obsession with spiritual impact.

    6 – I worked in the inner-city for about four years. I was convinced I would be the odds. Good organizations rescue about 15% of the youth they help, while 85% continue in the path of crime and self-destruction. We didn’t beat the odds, and I was continually confronted with an abyss of anger and pain that was not ready to receive help or love. Many of them would not release their frustration with life to take responsibility for their future. Sometimes the familiar is easy and creates hope when your efforts yield more fruit.

    10 – My family is the redemption of my suffering. I may feel like my ministry and sacrifice went no where, but at least I am a more loving husband and father. The good news about the suffering was that I matured and find myself able to give much more freely to my family. Sometimes I wonder if this is all I really succeed at for the next 40 – 50 years, is that enough?

    You’re not alone friend. Thanks for the honesty.

    Now to write my theme song.

  6. dsrtrosy Says:

    Wow, number 5 is ringing a bell. I know, it’s hard. I really want to learn to read the biblical languages so that I can REALLY understand–I no longer trust our versions of what scriptures say. That is very troubling to me.

    But even more troubling is having this long love affair with the idea behind “doing unto others” and seeing a new political turn within the church that is making kindness into some sort of evil. Sigh.

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