Sunday, November 11, 2007

Still Fighting It

I was walking downtown on Friday and came to the intersection of 18th & K Streets, NW. It's on one of DC's main drags for crosstown traffic and in the heart of the corporate and commercial district.

In the middle of the intersection stood a kid holding a big posterboard. I say kid because I'm older, but he was likely a college student from GWU. Just your garden-variety, work-a-day, white kid.

Anyway, his posterboard simply read "Honk if you care about my future (I care about yours)." The occasional car would drive by and honk, and he'd give them a wave or a thumbs up.

I was intrigued because he was alone. There was no logo or name on the posterboard. I'm pretty sure it was handwritten. Usually, these activist kids travel in packs, hand out flyers or packs of chewing gum or something, and make their organizational affiliation very clear.

So, as I walked across the intersection, I stopped. "So, what about your future?" I figured he'd say something about education funding reform, health care, or social security.

He said he didn't have anything in particular in mind, no party, no agenda, "Just a positive message."

K Street is also the city hub for lobbyists, so seeing someone without an angle looking to share goodwill with his fellow man was very refreshing.

I applaud him and pray that God is Lord of his future, and shows himself strong and good. I pray for miracles of faith, hope and success.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Don't Go Changin'

For all of the talk of transformation and newness in the Bible, God has invested a lot of time and energy in my life lately to make me okay with just being who I am. Plain, old me. It feels pretty good to know that the one who knows me completely believes that what I am is enough. The trick is getting me to believe it.

I’m an optimist and a realist, so I have a pretty good handle on my strengths and weaknesses. I can rattle them off at any given moment with the greatest of ease. The disconnect comes as I place price tags on all of the bric-a-brac of my character. I tend to overvalue the liabilities and undervalue the assets. So, as I tally everything, I’m left feeling like I’m always in debt. I feel like I always owe the people who care about me and spend time with me a little more than just plain, old me.

This has led to several peculiar habits. Sometimes, I’ll hold back parts of who I am, afraid that people will see the total package and draw the same conclusion that I have.

Other times, I’ll try to compensate for having too little to offer by going into giving and serving mode. My love and service to people that I care about becomes like a dowry to buy their love in return. God pointed out the irony in this tactic. My abilities to love and serve others are God-given gifts that are the very core of who I am. So, essentially I’m trying to make up for the fake or partial me that I mistakenly believe is the real me by showing people the actual real me. And, what do you know? People like him.


So, God says, “My grace is sufficient for you. And your need for grace is sufficient for me.” And in the end, being happy about who I am is requiring a transformation. Just being plain, old me is actually a very new thing. The Bible was right again. Next time… I get to be right.