Monday, January 18, 2010

soulja boy off in dis... no

So I was just chillin in my room one night a couple weeks ago and I overhear my mom and sister talking in the hallway. I think my sister is telling my mom about the music she likes or some videos that she watched on youtube (my sister is 11 by the way) and all of the sudden... no it can't be... how does she.... wow.

"soulja boy off in this hoo, watch me crank it watch me rooolll, watch me crank that soulja boy then superman that hoo"

Oh hell no. My sister was NOT singing soulja boy. I'm pretty sure she had no idea what she was actually singing, but seriously now. And my mom is pretty clueless about these things too so I don't blame her. And I know I was definitely 100x worse than my sister in terms of my potty mouth and the music I listened to. But cmon now. This is my sister here. She's an innocent witto girl. I think she learned it from that kevjumba wannabe nigahiga. You guys know him? Thinkin he's all cool and funny with his spiky hair and weird way that he talks. He actually is pretty funny, but yo anyone who corrupts my sister's mind is a terrible terrible man!

And this, of course, got me thinking. Maybe this is how God sees us. I'll be off singing soulja boy and God will be like, "What the shizz. Nate, who taught you that?" And I'll say something like, "Yeah I just heard it somewhere and it had this hecka tight dance that went with it. It just got stuck in my head!"
The world sings a similar song. It could be analogous to the way I treat money, sex, clothes... God might ask, "Nate, who taught you that money would bring you happiness?" "Who told you that sex is the only way to have intimacy?" "Who told you that clothes give you your identity?" I'll answer, "Well, I saw it on TV and it looked like it made people happy, so I thought I'd try."

I don't love my sister any less just because she's singing soulja boy in the same way that God doesn't love us any less when we eff up. It's just not what I wanna hear her singing. Hannah Montana, maybe even that Justin Bieber haha. But not soulja boy. Anyone but soulja boy.Wow this kid looks hecka foolish haha

I guess I could go different directions with this experience. Why God gives us commandments. Why it's bad to "stumble" people. But I think in the end it's something everyone can understand. Would you want YOUR kid singing soulja boy around the house? I would hope not. God's grace is enough. But sometimes it's good for us to realize when we're singing stupid songs with our lives.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

after urbana

I'm pretty sure you know Outkast. They haven't done a whole lot lately, but a couple years ago they were pretty popular. Now I dunno if you remember the movie Soul Food, which came out in 1997...I don't actually remember the movie, but the album was hecka good, and outkast had a song on there called "in due time," which is one of my favorite songs of all time. You should listen to it when you get a chance. Actually, listen to it right now. Here's a link: You're welcome. But I was reminded of the song while I was at urbana, which is this huge Christian conference thingy in St. Louis...
There are two lines that popped in my head as I was talking to one of the leaders there.
  1. "you lookin to be the butterfly without the caterpillar" and
  2. "you lookin to be big willy but you still a seed boy"
Dang... some profound shiz right there.
But these lines came up as I listened to the speakers-- these were men and women who were doing things in the world, who you could see believed in something. Many of them lived with the poor and a lot of them shed tears as they spoke because they were so passionate about the cause of the gospel. In other words, these were spiritual giants--the Lebrons and Monta Ellises of Christianity. It eventually led me to ask, "Dang. When will I get like that?"
And that's when those lines came in... I think the more I learn about Jesus, the more I learn that I have so much more to learn. Did that make sense? Probably not. But I think I have this image of who I wanna be, but then I realize that I'm nowhere close to that. Sometimes God has to remind me, "Nate, you lookin to be big willy but you still a seed boy."

I think the Christian life is filled with rumors. And I think this is why the speakers at Urbana were so engaging and why everyone loves to hear good stories, because it opens us up to other people's experiences. I love to hear my uncles tell me about what their lives were like when they were younger because it opens up a world that I don't know and that I can never go to. But those stories will forever be rumors. I can't ever prove that my uncle did this or that. And church is the same way. I hear from the pulpit, "Jesus doesn't make life easier, but he makes it better" (my pastor loves to say that) but then why do so many people leave Jesus behind when they get to college? I hear "Jesus loves you" but why do I still feel lonely? I hear "Jesus is in the least of these" but how will I ever know? And don't get me wrong, I think these things are beautiful, but I believe that some people think that hearing rumors over and over again is the same as actually experiencing them... I think I'm reaching the point where I'm getting tired of rumors. I wanna see if they're true. If Jesus says that he is the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned, then dangit I better go to those places. If Jesus says that he'll provide for me when I seek his kingdom, then I have to test that promise.
For me, it's kinda like Cheesecake Factory. Man I love that place. Every freakin summer, they get so much money outta me. But I can tell you how good it is, I can make you sing songs about their fried macaroni, and you can even read a book about their restaurant philosophy, but until I take you there on a warm summer night and let you eat on the outdoor patio overlooking the city, you will never know the goodness that is the Cheesecake Factory.
And I think that's the big difference between the speakers at Urbana and many pastors I know--the speakers at Urbana spoke out of their deep experiences whereas I might hear something from a pastor and take it as truth, but really it was just something they heard from another pastor, who heard it from another pastor, who heard it from John Piper (haha). I think it's time for me to stop talking and thinking and to finally start doing something about Jesus. And maybe hecka years from now, after God has led me into different experiences and adventures, I'll no longer be a seed, but I'll be able to say with confidence that I am big willy. Whatever the heck that means.