Sunday, November 22, 2009

Golden State Warriors and the Church

My first Warriors game was in 1999. We played the Sonics. I remember I was excited after we won that game because the Sonics were actually ranked #1 on Kobe Bryant's NBA Courtside on n64. Back in those days, John Starks was the Stephen Jackson and I remember him hoisting up three threes in a row. He missed the first two but made the last one and he threw his arms up in the air to pump up the crowd...
Back then, Bimbo Coles ran the point, Antawn Jamison was a rookie, and Donyell Marshall was our best player. There was no Roaracle, no "We Believe." If you were a Warriors fan in the 90s, that says something about you. It says that you know how to persevere, how to tolerate pain, and it means that you're probably a little irrational. But to be a Warriors fan in the 90s meant something.
And then "We Believe" happened... I'm not hating on our playoff run, but it changed things. All of the sudden, everyone at school was wearing JRich and Baron jerseys, nerds started talking about the games, and even girls were getting on the hype... something wasn't right. It simply wasn't fair. Just because you're wearing a throwback Warriors jersey and your MySpace says that Monta's your "boo" doesn't mean that you're a legit fan!! You never suffered through the years of Jason Caffey and Chris Mills!! You never fell in love with Adonal Foyle!! And you don't know the pain of watching Vince get ROY when Antawn gets an embarrassing All-Rookie 2nd team alongside Michael Olowakandi...
Do you consider yourself a Warriors fan? Examine yourself. Do you remember when the Warriors used to play on Channel 36 (6 for you kids who had cable)? Do you remember Vonteego? Mookie? Muggsy? Terry Cummings? Jimmy Jackson? Do you remember the hope of Musselman? The pain of Mike Montgomery? ... That's what I thought.

The Church is the same way, you know? There was a time when being a Christian meant something. When, if you claimed that title, people looked at you funny. It meant that you were a radical, a troublemaker, and that you were probably a little irrational. The early church actually had integrity. When everyone deserted the city because of plague, Christians were the ones to stay behind and take care of and even become the sick. Christians were those guys who sold their possessions and shared their wealth. Christians were the ones going to jail for standing against the government... back in the day, being a Christian said a lot about a person.
And then Constantine happened... He made Christianity into the national religion and soon enough, everyone and their moms was on that Christianity hype. It lost its original meaning; these newcomers had no idea what it meant to follow Jesus. They kinda just jumped on late and enjoyed the ride. They didn't know what it was like to suffer at the hands of emperors, to get thrown into jail, to join the poor, or to be martyred for their faith. They just said, "we believe."
And I think the church is still trying to recover. I have a hard time hearing facts like, one third of the world is Christian. I wanna believe it, but I just don't know. I don't even know about myself sometimes. I think if Jesus or Paul had a church today, it would be a lot smaller than we would like to think. But these days, church is all about good music, flat panel tvs on the sides that don't add anything to the service, and pastors that serve as part-time comedians. It's all about getting bigger and better--more people, bigger venue, more lights, more talent... pretty soon God gets pushed out of his own service because we're so concerned with making a production.
Do you consider yourself a Christian? Examine yourself.

Friday, November 13, 2009

On Adventures...

I have this desire in me. I'm not exactly sure where it came from, but it keeps coming up. I really wish that I had a car here in Berkeley. Preferably, a Prius (gas money be ridiculous!). This is a completely selfish desire because I don't want it for any conventional purposes... not to buy groceries for our apartment, not to get to Tolman (although it would be nice), and most definitely not for ministry purposes (no offense anyone). Negatory. I would want the car in Berkeley one reason only: to go on adventures.
Yes, adventures. Spontaneous adventures. Spontaneous adventures to random places. Spontaneous adventures to random far away places. Spontaneous adventures to random far away places with cool people... ok that's enough. But think about it, wouldn't that be frakkin tight (I never say that in real life)? Let's say I'm not doing anything this weekend (which would never happen, thank you shepherd's team meetings) and I have no major assignments coming up (or at least none that I choose to acknowledge), then what shall I do that weekend? Why, go to Reno of course!! Don't feel like Reno? Ok, how about Magic Mountain? Or to the desert to look at the stars?? The possibilities are endless!! And it opens up a whole new world of food options! Let's face it, you get tired of eating freakin La Burrita and pad see ew over and over again. What does Nate feel like eating tonight? Maybe Jack in the Box (50 tacos for $25=legit)? Maybe Palace Korean bbq? Maybe some decent pho place that doesn't give me the runs like pho hoa?
You may be asking, Nate, what is your point with all of this? Patience child, I shall tell you. I think when it comes to blogging, I realize that I post pretty rarely. Twice a month if I (or you) get lucky. And I wonder why this is. I think sometimes I just get tired of writing about my thoughts; it's such a womanly thing to do (no offense). I wish I had more exciting things to write about. I wish I could talk about adventures or funny and exciting stories like my uncles do. A book I'm reading (A million miles in a thousand years) talks about what it means to write a story. Sometimes I wonder if I'm living a life that's worth retelling. Some people say I only have a limited number of stories that I tell to everyone (when I got caught at the cal game, when I let out a really bad fart in my dorm, when my roommate knocked over my bonzai tree without telling me, when I ate the goat food, just to name a few). But really now, who freakin cares about when I farted in my dorm room????
I wanna live a life worth remembering, worth retelling. Be it with "adventures" or roadtrips, or maybe just with relationships... I think I want to be that guy who has a wealth of knowledge because of all the experience he has. Maybe wisdom just comes to people naturally as they go through life, but maybe some people go out and find it. Maybe I'm just a college kid who wants to relish in his freedom. Either way, I want to write a good story with my life... If your life was made into a story, would it be worth telling?