Sunday, February 12, 2012
GOT CRABS? A Blog About Striving To Be Different
I probably got your attention. No, this isn't some blog about Nurse Whitney educating you on STDs. Actually, that reminds me of a joke I heard once though.
A guy walks into an STD clinic and is sitting in the waiting room. He's feeling really self-conscious, and nervous. As he sat there twiddling his thumbs and hoping that the nursing staff would hurry up and call him to the back he looked up on the wall and saw a sign that said, "When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade!" He sat there thinking to himself, "Shouldn't that sign say, "When Life Gives You Crabs, Make Crabcakes?". *Buh dum dum* You're welcome. I'll be here all week.
I just got back from church. I'm probably the only person who can lead into my Sunday sermon blog thoughts with a joke on STDs, but that's just how I roll. It was there. I had to do it. I digress.
Got crabs? I'm not referring to funky monkeys down south here, people. However, after you read further into this topic, and if your answer to this question is YES, then you have a problem.You either need to seek medical attention, or you need to think about your life.
I just got done thinking about my life for a while. My pastor brought up this idea of crabs. I'm actually kind of embarrassed to say that I had never heard of this before. Did you know (cuz I didn't) that if you put crabs into a bucket, and one of them tries to escape by crawling out, that the other crabs will drag the other crab back down into the bucket? The other crab will literally reach up and haul their buddy back into the bucket, and will keep doing this until they all die. Un-frickin'-believable. I have two degrees in science. How had I never heard of this before?
Some of you are probably like, "Oh I know where this is going Whitney's going to go all "God talk" on us now *eyeroll*...". Please keep in mind here that you have absolute power, Jedi Master. There's a red X up in the righthand corner if it's going to kill you to read all of this. If you click your mouse over it, then I miraculously disappear. And yes...I might get a little preachy, but it's good for you, so listen up.
Does the crab thing sound familiar? Do you ever try to do something you know is right, but get suckered back into doing things the way that the world is doing them? Do you do things a certain way intentionally because it's more "acceptable" and you don't want to stick out like a sore thumb?
We're going through a series at church right now called, "Weird--Because Normal Isn't Working". The premise is that in order to be a true follower of God you have to turn away from the ways of the world. Some of you are probably like, "But I like the ways of the world, Whitney. The ways of the world are "NORMAL". If we don't follow the ways of the world then we're going to end up like some retarded freakshow who has a blog and talks about taboo subjects like God on it. Oh wait, that's you..."
Don't worry. I get that blogging about The Big Man probably puts me in the weirdo category. I'm ok with it. I was actually already in the weirdo category prior to my God blogs. However, it doesn't mean that I'm a deluded, self-righteous person, either. I've got way too many things that are "normal" in my life. It's a problem. I should strive to be much more of a weirdo for the sake of God.
I am not a big fan of Dr. Phil. I have seen his show a time or two though. You get sucked in to watching it--like a fishing show. It's a little pathetic. However, I heard Dr. Phil once say something that I really liked--so much so that at one point I stuck it up on my refrigerator as a daily reminder to myself. He said, "You wouldn't care so much what people thought of you if you knew how seldom they did." Some of you are probably like, "Well, thanks for that Whitney. It's nice to know that nobody really cares about me." To you I say, "You just missed my point. PS I love you *warm fuzzy*".
Why do we care so much what other people think of us? I find the older I get, the less I care. I know that some of you are probably thinking, "Oh sure, Whitney. That's why you wear stilettos to the grocery store--yep...we see how much you don't care." Just FYI, I wear my stilettos when I'm cleaning my toilets--when nobody is watching. Why? Because I like the way I feel when I dress up. Contrary to popular belief, the reason I dress up is for purely selfish reasons--BECAUSE IT MAKE ME FEEL GOOD. I know that sounds weird, but it's true.
This blog is not about me and my high heels though. It's about being different. It's about being ok with being different, and being different for all the right reasons.
I love God. I'm not shy about it. I'm not going to beat it into people, but I found out something that was pretty cool once I started talking about God on a more regular basis to other people--OTHER PEOPLE FELT LIKE IT WAS OK TO START TALKING ABOUT GOD, TOO! People started to come out of the woodwork. It was like an infestation--only it wasn't nasty bugs!...it was my beautiful friends! I was stunned. I was like, "Hmmmm...I've known these people for a long time. How come I never knew this about them?" It was great to realize that I knew all these other people who felt the same way about God as I did. But why didn't I know it before? Oh crud...it's probably because we feel like we have to be "Closet Christians". We don't want to say anything about God, because God forbid...people might actually think we're weirdos! We'll become freaky! We'll get all preachy! People won't want to hang out with us because "were one of those people"!
It's true. I get that weirdo "God Complex" sometimes. I grew up in a very bible beater family. It was super annoying. My sister would get mad at me, pelt me in the head with mascara, I'd get upset and yell at her, and then my dad would sit us down and be like, "Now girls, what would God have to say about all this." It was so tempting not to come up with a snarky answer like, "He'd probably say you should've gone with Cover Girl instead of Loreal--the tube flies faster, and hits harder. Force = Mass X Acceleration, right?" It drove me CRAZY. My dad brought God into everything...EVERYTHING. To the point where it actually drove me in the other direction--away from God. It was annoying. I decided back then that I would never cram God down people's throats. However, that doesn't mean I won't give people the option of reading a little somethin' somethin' about Him on my blog though. Open up and say, "Ahhhh". Just kidding.
I lost one of my Facebook friends about a week ago. She actually left Facebook altogether. I was majorly bummed. I adore this girl. However, she was getting angry about some of the postings she was seeing on Facebook. I'm sure mine were included, though she never said anything directly to me.
My friend is a self-procaimed Atheist. I've seen her posts on Atheism that she puts on Facebook. I have never commented on them. I understand that people have the right to choose to believe, not to believe, or to believe in whatever they want to believe in. Far be it for me to stir the pot on someone's Facebook about it. She was upset that she would see people post things about God, and she felt like she couldn't comment on them because she would make people angry with her opinion.
I ended up writing her a message on Facebook. I told her that I knew we were 180 degrees apart with our beliefs, and that I actually really appreciated the fact that she never tried to start controversy on any of my posts that I made mention of God in.
I actually feel very sorry for her though. She's angry. The very mention of God makes her ANGRY. I get that some people don't believe in God. I know that the gist of Atheism is denying that any sort of "Godly being" exists. My logic is such that if you don't believe there is a God, then there's really nothing to get pissed off about--it just is what it is, right? However, she gets upset at other people believing in God. That is where I fall off and just plain DON'T GET IT. That would be like me getting mad at my kids believing in the tooth fairy. I have always wondered why she gets so angry about it though. Like I said, it's one thing not to believe. It's another to be chronically pissed off about something you don't believe in. Seems like a waste of time, effort, and energy to me.
Long story short, I wrote her. I told her I was sad to see her go, but that I understood. I did mention that my love for God brings a lot of comfort and happiness to my life, and I didn't understand why she would ever feel compelled to try to remove that from ANYONE'S life with negativity and disbelief. I also said that I felt strongly that, just as she felt compelled to post numerous posts on Atheism, I felt compelled to share my knowledge and love for God through my postings, and that I would continue to do so. I also tried to encourage her to stay on Facebook and just ignore the things that bothered her. But she couldn't. As a matter of fact, she wouldn't even respond to my message. I'm sure it's because my message made mention of my faith and my love for God and Christ. It did make me wonder though--if she is THAT angry about it, it's either because she's really struggling somewhere deep down, or she is just a hateful person. I'm more inclined to believe that she's fighting a pretty big internal battle right now.
It felt weird to talk to her about God that way. I don't engage in a lot of 1-on-1 convos with people about God--let alone Atheists. Like I said, it got really old to hear it from my dad back in the day. I am assuming she probably felt the same way. Oh crap...I've become my father. Eeeek!
I'm actually ok with being different with respect to God. I know it's probably not "hip", or "cool" or "trendy". However, I don't really care. It's worth it. I fall short of perfection every day of my life. However, I will say that it feels amazing to know that I'm not trying to perfect myself ALL BY MYSELF. I am thankful for the way that God works in my life. He makes being a weirdo something to aspire to.
I love seeing the changes that God makes, not only in my life, but in the life of my friends. I've seen some pretty amazing things this year. I've seen God overhaul hearts, and lives. I've seen faith grow. I've seen selfishness put aside, while love and commitment embraced. I've seen prayers answered. I love seeing people rejoice in the simple truth--that GOD IS GOOD.
"Jeez, Whitney, could this blog get any longer?" Why yes it can, my friends! I'm so glad you asked!
What's the moral of the story here? Well, unfortunately we all have crabs. We all have that moment where we try to strive for great things, try to separate ourselves out, and somehow the ways of the world grab onto us and drag us back down into the bucket. It's a daily battle. This is where having a master chef like God on your side comes in a little bit handy. He's pretty good at making crab cakes! It's like Philippians 4:13 says, "I can do all things through Him who gives me strength".
Cling tight to the side of the bucket my friends. If something is dragging you down, then it's time to change it. It's time to stand out. It's time to be different. It's time to realize that you weren't meant to do this all alone. There is a song I love that has the lyrics, "No longer lend your strength to that which you wish to be free from." There is freedom in God.
I challenge you to literally take whatever you are facing and give it up to God. There is an amazing sense of freedom that comes from that submission. I heard someone say recently, "Worry about nothing, and pray about everything." Give it a shot. You might actually like what you find on the flipside.