I did something awful last night.
Just truly horrible.
I looked myself up on Myspace.
You remember, the clunky, minimalistic-until-you-loaded-it-down-with-gaudy-html-layouts-and-glittery-graphics website where every early 2000’s high school student’s self esteem rose or fell with the amount of comments left on their latest mirror selfie?
The infamous pc4pc bulletins and heinous chain letters that always found their way into your inbox. And if you were an emo kid, you did everything in your power to let everyone know it.
While Facebook can be accused of much of the same kind of self-promoting drudgery and high school stupidity, Myspace was THE social media of my childhood.
So, I opened the page, rembered my highly embarassing aol email adress/password combo and went to work digging through my early high school years.
Much to my surprise, Myspace has changed significantly, pandering now to those who would like to combine Facebook and Spotify and pilfering their profile music from YouTube videos it so conspicuously plays in the corner.
There was an option to download your classic blogs and I clicked the button, curious about what I said in my earlier years. I wish I hadn’t.
It only came up with one blog, and I distinctly remember writing more than that, but I’m glad I only read one. Below is what I wrote. And I want you to read this in the most angry, dramatic voice you can muster.
I’m tired. Worn out. Done trying.
I’m ready to go to college and get on with my life.
I’m ready to get a life.
I’m tired of foolish people in high school chasing void passions.
I am called to something greater.
God help me seize that.
Help me change the world!
To all the void-passion-chasers: You fail. You do not offer any lasting meaning. Your hedonism will ultimately destroy you. You cling to false truths and wear them like a sash. Well, your stupid sash will burst into flames. But don’t worry, it won’t reach your heart, because you don’t have one.
The Achilles heel of our society. You will die in your lust for more. And I pray to God you find the way out before it’s too late.
The way is Jesus.
You can scoff all you want. It won’t change the truth.
I may be burned out, but I’ll never deny my Savior. He is mine. I am his. And this love is greater than anything you’ve experienced in the throes of ignorance and death.
I am narrow minded.
But Jesus said that the way to God is Narrow. Only through him. Not through anyone else. Not through John McCain, not through Barack Obama, or Ralph Nader. Not through any meaningless medium of communication or false god.
The false gods are in the dust. They DIED. They didn’t come back. Their kingdoms were severed forever in the bloody agony of their falsehood.
My Jesus didn’t stay dead. He’s ALIVE. And stronger than hell.
He said that if you would just believe in him as Lord and Savior. That he is the risen Son of God, and repent of your sins that he would SAVE you from eternal damnation.
Try to argue.
Try to say it’s not logical.
I don’t care.
IT is the only truth that will fix us.
Don’t buy into my lifestyle, but receive my Jesus. He is the only hope.
Your arguments will fail, because they are void. Meaningless. When passions are of the world, it goes to hell with the rest of the world.
Salvation lies within
IT IS ALL ABOUT JESUS.
I’m burned out, yes. But my Savior is true. He is love. He is EVERYTHING.
These, my friends, are the ravings of a kid in the throes of a confusing adolescence who loved to make zealous dramatic statements and write in colorful metaphors, and who fervently (if it isn’t obvious) listened to his share of Christian Death Metal.
Not that I disagree with some of the statements I made back then. All the stuff about Jesus being better than the worthless pursuit of self, I absolutely echo those in my early adulthood. But there was such a rage behind my words, the result of a whole lot of passion, but no wisdom or experience to temper it. No understanding of relationships and loving people in spite of their sin. No desire to see Christ heal the broken, just the desire to see him as righteous judge.
And sadly, this venom wasn’t just something I articulated on Facebook. I was very much the same kind of person I wrote about in my last blog. I didn’t love those people enough to engage them with anything but bitterness.
So I may feel the same way as this post in principle, but not in action. I wrote that seven years ago, before Christ helped me to be passionate and wise. Back then, I would’ve thought myself wise. I believed I had all the answers that no one else had. I shunned the teaching of Proverbs 3:7, which says “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.”
I thought myself wise, had no fear of the Lord, and ran towards evil with every spiteful breath, all while pretending I was God’s gift to the planet.
In all of my social awkwardness and selfishness, God was nowhere to be found, though I spoke of him often.
And though I look back on my adolescence and don’t see a lot of love, seeds were in place to start growing. In the years to come, God would answer my prayer. As misguided as I may feel I was, I did have a relationship with Christ, and he was beginning the process of healing back then. He was making me less bitter, he was calling me to minister to the very people I raged against.
I said, “I am called to something greater. God help me seize that. Help me change the world!”
This was three years before God spoke to me through a prisoner in a dusty chapel in South Carolina and solidified my calling into ministry in a miraculous and unexplainable way.
It was five years before God taught me through the overwhelming pain of losing a close friend that the only way to change the world is to pull yourself out of the way and let Christ do his restorative work, and let him ready your heart to be his tool to aid in doing it. Before he taught me that he can and will put you where you need to be for him to change the world, even if it’s just the world of one person.
The God of the Universe took the time to kindle the blazing fire in me and temper it with wisdom. Because fire can’t be fire if it’s lacking warmth.
God did and is still in the process of teaching me how to wield the truth as a key to unlock doors, rather than a sword to cut off heads.
In seven years, I haven’t stopped using metaphors, but lets hope I’ve started being a bit more tender in the way I speak.
On a side note,
If you’re reading this blog, thank you. I am so grateful to see people interact with my thoughts. Most of the time, this is word vomit, and to see your comments letting me know that my words have reached you ears and made you feel something, whether you agree or disagree with them, means the world to me. I may not have a big platform, and my words are a whole lot less important than the work Christ is doing in each of our lives, but I’m grateful for the chance to engage.