If you have ever been acquainted with the majesty of Stuff White People Like, you may have gone through the list of things that -- gasp! -- white people like, calculated how many apply to you, and groaned at how cool you think you are. I think I took the quiz in the back of the book they published (because I own it) and came out at about 60%. That's just plain ridiculous. 60% of things that are super trendy, hip, and socially acceptable today are things that I am all about, man.
We tend to congregate around other people who are "in" like us, too. I know I immediately feel more at ease as soon as a new acquaintance and I start name-dropping favorite jazz greats, Cohen brothers films, ethnic food varieties, tea shops. (I'm so trendy I could barf.) It's so easy to shape the day around seeing people that make us look and feel cool, and doing stuff that will be fun to look at later in tagged Facebook pictures. Feeling funny and interesting is a high unlike any other, because it seems like with confidence like that, there's no need for anything else in the world.
When this sort of drug wears off though, leaving us as crippled as any crack addict, is when we are alone, with no one laughing at our witty, pop culture laced jokes or admiring our aluminum water bottles. We are who we truly are when we are lying in our beds, too plagued with thoughts and questions to let sleep drag us under its spell. Even after a night spent wreaking havoc at the beach with my friends -- which I did last night -- I can still return home feeling like I have nothing in this world of worth to cling to -- which I did last night.
This might be a redundant thought from me, and you might be tired of reading about it, but chances are that if I have to keep preaching to myself about the lie that this is a Laracentric universe, then chances are that you might be struggling through the same thing. Different facets of this issue, deeply rooted in who I am as a human being, keep hitting the light to be revealed to me at last. All the sources of my pride, however false and alluringly veiled they may be, are slowly being ripped from the soil of my heart to lie on the top for me to see.
Here lies another: the coolness factor.
While I'm busy finding something comfortable enough to keep me from looking like I'm trying too hard but stylish enough to show people my oh-so quirky imagination, I am still looking in the mirror at me, me, me.
"Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, 'If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all." Mark 9:35
People are there to make me feel adequate and satisfactory, not hurting and in need of someone to stop talking to my popular friends and lend a caring ear.
Social causes are there to make me feel aware and guilt people into being less enthusiastic about the world than I am, rather than represent problems that deserve more than a t-shirt, but heartbreak and help that requires true sacrifice on my part.
Blogs and such are there to make me feel like I have deep and important thoughts that everyone needs to hear and admire, instead of simply confessing to the ugly parts of me and sharing the one thing that has the potential to clean even the darkest blots on my heart: Jesus Christ.
If my faith and my life are one, then there's no room for this obsession to be cool, even a "cool" Christian whom outsiders can look at and go, "Hey! That girl is at a hookah bar? Maybe Christians aren't so weird after all!" I mean, being genuine and relatable to people is great and pretty vital, but may these pursuits never become more important than pursuing the cross to lay down my false gods, one by one. I am coming to the point where I don't care if people think I'm weird if I feel the overwhelming need to pray alone or read the Word than go get milkshakes with my friends in Campus Crusade. When all else fades away, the moments I spent in communion and fellowship with my God will surpass the moments I spent making sure I made it to that party so that I would be in on the blossoming inside jokes and bonds.
Let's make this life a deep one. Intentionally seek those who hurt for someone to care about their sorrows. Give up having a touch-screen cell phone to feed those who have so much less than we do. Turn down the offer to take the best job in the world with the best salary and throw yourself into humbly living to serve for the rest of your days.
"The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever." 1 John 2:17