I love young people. They’re so accepting . . . for the most part . . . kind of. Well, perhaps I should say, they want to be accepted . . . which has a deeper current of wanting to accept others. However, the stronger current of life & the compiling rapids of insecurity increase as puberty, adolescence, & adulthood take its toll.
Anyway, people, typically adults, will assume that I “look the way that I do” in attempts to relate to young people as if needing to be accepted.
In reality, that is the last reason why I look this way. This is just me. If I could encourage young people to do anything it would be . . . Stop. You are unique. Be as God created you to be.
Growing up within a more conservative church denomination, there was a social expectation of dress and vernacular that was the “right(eous)” way. For example people would often, and still do, misquote Paul(Romans) in regards to “conforming to this world”. As if to say being “worldly” is talking about what you look like, your political agenda, ones material success, or even doctrinal formulas of salvation and doctrinal statements. It’s funny really. I can’t help but wonder if this is how we came to adult versions of “jocks”, “stoners”, “preps”, “plastics”, “emos”, “punks”, etc. which perhaps in adult context sound more like, “liberals”, “conservatives”, “Baptists”, “catholics”, “non-denominational”, “Church of Godens”, “Methodists”, “terrorists”, “Americans”, etc. It’s always been a bit perplexing and lame feeling like I have to pick a side. It makes sense too though. Doesn’t it? We’re put in a spot of choosing which to conform to based on a deep desire to be accepted, when in reality we need to stop and merely accept. (A) or (B) and yet Jesus says neither nor, stop viewing it two dimensionally.
Acceptance attaches to many prerequisites and condition. First and foremost it’s gotta be love, which demands the acceptance of every person whether, greek, jew, samaritan, gentile . . . republican, gay, terrorist, Australian, because love knows no boundaries. In the grand scheme, there should be a boat load of people working together in harmony with the things of Gods Kingdom. Shane Claiborne talks about how followers of Jesus are called to harmonize as opposed to homogenize:
“. . . this means that we are singing the same tune and dancing to the same drum, but that doesn’t mean we are all identical. Just because we follow the same Rabbi doesn’t mean we end up in uniformity. In fact, it seems to be just the opposite. Uniformity and sameness(homogeneity) are a part of the empire and the systems of this world. People are taught conformity and are socialized into ways of acting dressing, eating, speaking.”
[Claiborne, Shane & Perkins, John, Follow Me To Freedom, pg. 91]
There is so much diversity among followers of Jesus, like one of those spinny things you hold up to the sun and look through that reflects various shapes and colors continually morphing into random mosaics. I can’t help but wonder in what ways we might have allowed “the world” to influence our understanding of how we’re called to carry out God’s heart and passion by creating a system or systems that resort to protocols, A or B, causing a systemic issue of empire propaganda? Do we feel completely comfortable and at liberty to be who we are no matter where we are?
great thought provoking & humorous comics: http://asbojesus.wordpress.com/page/4/