This I Believe

Andrew - Richmond, Virginia
Entered on February 4, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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O mortal geek! Why must you continue your crying out in the night of gnashing teeth? Your ears are as big as bed sheets flapping on the clothesline. Your teeth are crooked, but you refuse to get braces. You own glasses, but refuse to wear them. Senses and appearance impaired, you grope in the darkness of insecurity for some sense of meaning. Won’t someone provide illumination in your search?

O mortal geek! Listen to these truths. Out of the watery chaos, YAHWEH created life. In the chaos of adolescents, the popular youth (who may as well be divine) likewise impose their creative will on their surroundings. So you, o booger-breath, should have no false preconceptions about your relationship to your deities. You are cast in a subservient role and you should worship the best-dressed, sparkling-straight teeth, clear-skinned, cheerleader/quarterbacks just for acknowledging your existence.

O mortal geek! You have been thinking and praying, praying and thinking about the relationships in your life. You read the Holy Scriptures and find Jesus’ command: “Be perfect, as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” What kind of help is this to you, o obviously-far-less-than-perfect? How can you “be perfect?” Your experience is so often like when you attended a weeklong, summer church camp. In the world of church summer camp, popularity (and therefore all self-worth) is reflected in how you wear your T-shirt, regardless of anything that God had to say to the contrary. With the right shorts, cool jewelry, and latest shoes, some boys and girls could transform the homogenous cotton monotony into a hip, new style.

And you, o mortal geek, how did you wear your T-shirt? Well, you built rock forts behind the far basketball goal in the woods, retreating as far away as possible from the rest of the group. Like a Hollywood movie set, the cool people in their pretty T-shirts interacted on the open blacktop in the full spotlight of the sun, soaking up the attention. You were far off-stage in the dark woods that might as well have been a janitorial closet. Scrambling up and sliding down muddy embankments rendered your shirt torn and filthy. You, o wood-dwelling hermit, nonetheless learned an important lesson.

Rumi puts it this way: “Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.” Despite what you might have previously thought, self fulfillment is not gained from striving to be more popular, more well-known, more respected or “more” of anything. Ask yourself, what happens when the only lens to see out of is the image that you want other people to see?

Be whole, as your Parent in Heaven is whole. Because, at the end of the day, you are you and you are only you: Geek or dork-face, awkward and goofy, always with your grubby T-shirt on inside out. O mortal geek; be whole, as your Parent in Heaven is whole.