Talking to Strangers

 

I feel as though young people are very impressionable when it comes to trends and fads and passions. Some could say that in a world of young adults whose faulty logic brings them to creating a subculture to avoid being like the rest of us, originality doesn’t stand a chance.  Once” it” becomes a thing, it stops being what we wanted it to be. I see it every day on tumblr. Everyone wants to travel. Everyone is a free spirit. Society is too imposing. And we have come to believe that the best way to set ourselves apart is to stop associating with a certain group of people, but that tends to automatically classify us with something anyways. When can we begin to stand on our own feet?

I’m pretty hip to certain trends, and music being my profession, I especially pay attention to that industry, what’s popular, what’s selling.  Partly out of my unquenchable thirst for new music to listen to, and partly because I spend my days talking to strangers that I’m connected to only by Christ and musicianship over email about partaking in our new Indie station. I love that. Some days it’s a bust and everyone I listen to wants to be someone else. And though their bios cry out with passion for worship, I feel nothing when I listen (this is not their problem, it’s mine.)  But occasionally I find someone who just wants to be them. And be them to glorify God. It comes through in their music.

The fact is, that I get tired of people trying to find their own identity. There is this rush and stress to establishing yourself. Maybe it’s out of desperation to not be everyone else, or maybe it’s just a hunger for attention. But this morning my Mom was talking about a sermon she listened to, about when the resurrection happens. The Pastor was talking about keeping our identity even after our flesh is replaced with the perfection we will one day experience.  And it made me smile, because it’s just further proof that our identities have nothing to do with how we look. But everything to do with who we are in Jesus. It’s an infinite comfort to me, as a teenager that sometimes feels as if everyone wants me to be something I’m not, that the nearer we draw to Christ, the more of ourselves we become. Sometimes it looks as though we are supposed to establish ourselves in careers and “isms,” then go out and love Jesus. Perhaps that’s accomplished through sitting in Church, your own person. We sit there, and we try to take this outward approach. As if we are simply taking Jesus, and throwing Him at us, saying “make who I already am better, more pretty, more acceptable to the church, etc.” But is that right? I feel as though the real identity crisis begins when we take ourselves into our own hands, and try to merely apply Jesus to what we are. But what if we took an inward approach? What does that mean?

What if from the start, when we said, “Jesus, cleanse me. I want to have relationship with you,” what if from that point on, we sough our identity in Him? and He began to mold us. I think our fears say, “I don’t want to change who I am.”

But the truth is, when we are in a steady pursuit of more depth with our Father, we become more perfectly us. Becoming more and more pure, Christlike. Don’t forget, that He knit you together in the womb. He created you with a purpose in mind. All your quirks, all your talent. That was all Him. Whether you chase what He was for you or not. Those good gifts were from, by and for Him.  Thus, when we draw near to Him, and follow the path He has made for us, we are made complete in a way that we would never be without Him.

When I see myself, I see a broken human who has an introspective soul that will not be silent. I feel increasing fire in my bones about my calling in music. Externally speaking, I could tell you I’m introverted unless I sense anyone who feels more insecure than I do (in which case, expect me to plunge into some sort of conversation with nervous rapidity.) I tend to say the wrong things when I am consciously trying to make a good impression. I shake when I talk to new people. But at the same time, I love few things more than community. I’m passionate about communication. I’m passionate about a lot of things.  But above quirks and natural isms, I feel like I desire rightness with God and humans most.

I can tell you those things. I can speak them. You could memorize my quirks and still not know the half of me if you didn’t see me in light of my calling. I pray that that’s the biggest, most apparent part of me for this very reason. Because when my eyes are fixed on Jesus, I become the most me I can possibly be.

All this to say, I was refreshed by some unique artists today. And I hope that you’ll see people as Christ sees people.

-Sydney

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