These are the grown up versions of Kid-N-Play. They are still holding tightly to their dance moves where you swing your leg around and hit each other in the shin. The Kid-N-Play move occupied a large percentage of my time at most junior high dances.
For a long time I thought my Christian walk had to mirror my years as a high school student. As I strolled through high school, my mind was occupied with so many trivialities that I assumed would project me into absolute popularity and confirm my suspicions that everyone was thinking about just me all day long.
My bangs were to be solid, not bouncy.
I could be quirky, but not dorky.
If my locker was near the science lab and not the lunch room, I was sunk.
If I walked into school with wet hair...ok. If I walked into school with Princess Leia buns...not ok.
I could pick my nails, but not my nose.
I should speak up in class, but not dominate.
My loafers needed the curly Q ties, not bows.
My shoulder pads belonged in sweaters, not shirts.
I could be a Christian, but only the help-your-neighbor kind, not the preach the gospel kind.
I felt like each day was spent thinking through the ramifications of my actions and words. That one slip about how I still liked the smell of Strawberry Shortcake dolls while at biology lab and I was doomed. Each conversation seemed calculated and each event another chance to prove my worth to 555 classmates.
For many years, I also believed that I had to be a hip, laid back, totally relevant Christian that could talk "Fight Club," and the grunge scene with the best of them. I spent more time worrying about how to remain relevant than I did my own personal sanctification. And if I am going to assess honestly, I used the word relevant to actually mean fun and well-liked. I would tell myself that I wanted others to like me so that they will like Jesus. But, it was really just about liking me.
More often than not, I think people might have walked away with a certain impression of me, but very little about Jesus.
I'm learning and growing in this. I don't want to be a jerk, there are enough of those running around waving the Jesus banner. But I also don't want to be so concerned with my own popularity as to the neglect of my own holiness. Jesus has already earned the right to be heard. If I fumble around while telling someone, it's going to be ok. Jesus is already relevant.
Jesus has already earned the right to be heard.