Friday, October 06, 2006

That Guy

A month or so ago, I was dragged (okay, gently enticed) by a group of friends to go see Snakes on a Plane. As we drove to the theater it was resolved that, for the sake of this particular screening, we would be “those guys.” We would be the group that laughed a little too raucously, that offered the slightly offensive play-by-play commentary audible to everyone in the theater, that cheered at every bit of asinine dialogue spoken by Samuel L. Jackson. Yeah…those “those guys.”

I knew I couldn’t be one of “those guys” no matter how hard I tried. To be honest, “those guys” bring out my inner Pharisee. I’m annoyed and offended by their very being in my presence. Then I get annoyed at myself because I walk out of theater thinking, “What are you upset about? It’s effing Cabin Fever. What do you really think you lost in that 15 seconds of dialogue they talked through? The meaning of life?”

Luckily for me, the decision was taken out of my hands. The part of “those guys” was already being played by a rowdy group of teenagers a couple of rows behind us. They were clearly pros, because they were heckling the on-screen print advertisements when we walked in.

I introduced the “those guys” concept because last night I was “that guy.” Not a heckler, but a much more insidious member of the “those”/”that” people family. Have you ever met someone who is completely off-putting in social situations? Who only gets more off-putting when he tries to be warm or funny? Whose every attempt at engagement only incites more pity as you see it’s not getting any better? I was “that guy.”

Last night was my first meeting as an assistant leader for my Living Waters group. Everything I said came out in the same annoying, preachy tone of voice. My testimony, instructions, encouragement, a joke here or there, all came out sounding like a hellfire and damnation sermon on a loop.

Granted, I’m probably being a little hard on myself, but it doesn’t change the root issue: I was performing. I was feeling unworthy to be in that position. I was trying to prove to them and to me that I deserved to wear the special nametag rather than the normal one like theirs. I felt myself doing it and I was mad at me.

Things eased up as the night ended. Jesus smiled at me and said, “No, you don’t deserve the nametag. But, I didn’t deserve the cross. Life’s unfair, but it’s working in your favor. Be grateful. Now, make yourself useful and lay hands on somebody.”

So, I got over myself. I got focused on God and he prayed through me. It was a good night.


At 12:10 AM, October 09, 2006, Blogger rod said...

"Life’s unfair, but it’s working in your favor. Be grateful."

What an important thing to notice. could you email that to me everyday?
I can hear Jesus saying that.

At 11:35 PM, October 12, 2006, Blogger The Black Sheep said...

Yeah, I have to get the daily e-mail notice myself.


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