Monday, October 22, 2012

Things That Are Cool – GO!

My friend Todd. So cool.
Things that are cool – GO! Jazz. Fonzie. Ranch Doritos. Beatniks. Ray Bans. Cucumbers. Film Noir and Quentin Tarantino. My friend Todd. Chuck Taylors and Cuban-heeled boots… I’m not sure what makes certain things/people cool – or why we value it so highly. Is cool an attitude? An aesthetic? An empty descriptive? Subjective? All of these? None of these?
Keith Richards, also cool.

According to the super cool Keith Richards, “If you've gotta think about being cool, you ain't cool.” In my case, I guess this statement is true. I mean, I’m a huge nerd, and here I am talking about cool, right?  And not for the first time! (But by the way, when Keith makes this statement, isn’t he thinking about being cool?)

And I think a lot of modern Christians spend a lot of time trying to be cool… and show the world that we’re cool. Yes, we drink good microbrews. We listen to hipster bands. We watch movies. We wear Chucks. Sometimes we cuss. Look at us! Aren’t we cool?
I don't know who this guy
is, but dag, he looks cool.

No, we want you to know that we’re NOT AT ALL like the stereotype Christians you may have in your mind – teetotalers who fear Halloween, listen to Amy Grant and wear Amish-looking clothes. No! That’s not us AT ALL!  If you’re thinking that, get that thought out of your mind immediately!

Okay, maybe it’s just me who goes around trying to prove that I’m not uncool. I’m sure there are no other Christians that I could possibly be describing. And, it occurred to me recently that if this is true, it is a grave misdirection of my limited energy.

Because we, as Christians, by definition are completely uncool. I think coolness is about being aloof … and nonchalant about stuff. But the Christian life is all about devotion. Laying down your life. Getting involved.

If I understand what I read in the Bible correctly, one’s identification with Christ should be one’s defining aspect (Galations 2:20.) So that means I have more in common than the little old lady from my church that has the perpetually pursed lips and thinks the drums are too loud than I do with your average thick-glasses-wearing, coffee-house-sitting, food-truck-frequenting, Fountains-of-Wayne-listening hipster.  Even though I, too, do all these things.

“Julie,” you may be saying, “Why are you putting so much energy into trying to convince people you are cool if it’s a waste of time?” The answer is… I hope that’s not what I’m doing. It’s not my plan, anyway. My plan actually is … to be myself. To speak my honest mind. And that's just how my mind works.

The things I bring up are actually in my brain. I write how my brain works. I think in songs and movies. This entire entry springs from this thought that actually came plowing into my mind while I was just driving along, minding my own business: It looks like pseudo-hipstery Christians spend a lot of time trying to convince the world that they are NOT uncool… when they could be convincing people that they LOVE them. That GOD loves them.

So here it is: without obscure song references, convoluted movie interpretations, self-deprecating humor, or mild cuss words: I love you. Yes, you. Whoever you are. You’re awesome, you're beautiful, and I love you. God loves you. He’s all about you. He craves your company. He’s knocking on your door. He is LOVE.*
That is all.

* For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

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