Friday, December 23, 2011

Being ourselves all the time

As I walked outside recently, I saw--and heard--a young man singing. It wasn't like he was singing under his breath, mind you. No, he was singing loud enough for people several feet away to hear. Now I must admit that at first I was a bit embarrassed for him. After all, you just don't do that kind of thing, right? The more I thought about it, it seemed downright sad.

Not sad, as in he's a sad case for doing what he did. Sad, as in I'm a sad person for thinking like that. We're a sad society if we put down a person for doing what he or she loves (as long as it's not harmful in general, of course) outside of what's considered a "normal" setting.

I hope that for his sake he's had family and friends who encourage his giftedness in song (yes, he sang quite well). It sure seems that if he has been looked at oddly or even spoken to derogatorily, that hasn't slowed him down in expressing his love for music. Tragically, I would imagine that many--most--of us either stifle ourselves, or allow others to stifle us when our "song" yearns to be expressed in "abnormal" settings.

Imagine a world where a singer sings when they feel the spirit move them. Where I write the moment words start to come. Where my wife, a daycare teacher who dearly loves children and is so gifted with them, could just walk up to a group of toddlers wherever she sees them and bring smiles to their little faces. Where my stepson does a freestyle rap just because he wants to. Whatever the person's pleasure & talent, what if they could do what they loved when they loved to do it?

I realize, of course, we all have responsibilities that must be attended to. We can't always be singing, or writing, or teaching, or building. But maybe we can do a little more of those things than we do now.

We celebrate the birth of Christ in memory of God becoming flesh, and living and dying and rising again for our eternal hope. Maybe His life can be an example in that as He said what He said and did what He did, whenever and wherever, during His time on earth, His primary concern was that it all was for His Father's pleasure. We know He was mocked and insulted, and eventually abused and crucified, for being...well, Himself. And for those of us who put our trust in Him, our lives and our eternities are filled with so much more hope as a result.

Too often, however, we're more concerned with our temporal comfort and our acceptance by others, than by our often unrealized yet very real need to fulfill the deep longing within us by being and doing what God created us to do when and where possible (not just when and where we won't be ridiculed). I pray that as we remember the "rebel" Christ, and that young man who just did what was on his heart, we'll put a smile in God's heart when who we are is more evident throughout the day. May you all have a blessed Christmas.

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