the Pursuit of Cool
One of my obsessions is being relevant. I confess, I want to be cool. I am approaching 55 and very aware of how far from that I am. But no matter how futile, I am hot on it's trail. To help my pursuit I try to surround myself with cool people. I attend a very cool church where the congregation is mostly young people in shorts and flip flops, even in the winter months. Our pastor doesn’t tuck in his shirt and the music is over the top good, but loud, baby, very loud! They are all simply- cool. I also work at a rehab hospital filled with young professionals who are part of “today” in every sense. They are cool, without trying. I try to learn from them, but it is an uphill climb! They text instead of call, email instead of having face to face conversation and tweet their business to the world. They text in their own language and I refuse to admit that sometimes I have no idea what they are saying. Some days I am sitting at my desk hoping and praying that their latest text didn’t mean they were calling out, but rather just running a wee bit late (WL). SMH! (slap my hiney) I'm starting to pick it up! As my pursuit of cool continued, I realized all the cool folks were on Facebook- so I signed up. Then only cool if you were on twitter, OK- I did that too. Instagram- done. Pinterest- actually love it! And here I am blogging- not even a real word when I was growing up. But I’m doing it.
Now as I am chasing after this elusive cool, and some days losing that race, there is one comforting truth. I will always be cooler than Jody! I love my husband for that. He is the epitome of a square, and he doesn’t care. He’s happy being him, and although I may be secretly jealous of his security, I can’t help but want to phat-ten him up, too. Jody has an iPhone, which he called a “google box” for years (cringe), a Facebook account, although if truth be known, I have written all but about 10 of his posts over the past 7 years, and he flat refuses to tweet. He does text- but it is very formal, salutation and valediction each and every time. The other morning, we were eating a bowl of bran cereal when he received a text from one of our children that said ROFL, and Jody started laughing. He is retired military and he loves a new acronym – “raspberry on fat lady” he exclaimed. He chuckled as he described how that might look and what it would sound like! We both rolled on the floor laughing! 😊 I am not teasing, this man is seriously uncool! But I have managed to teach him one thing. I have introduced him to the art of selfies. It took some doing, but he's got it down. On vacations he is the one to proclaim, “time for a selfie.” At those moments, I must admit, I have a little bit of pride well up, knowing that I am responsible for this groovy new skill. There may be hope for him yet.
Speaking of selfies- the other night we were watching one of my shows “Married At First Sight.” It’s a reality show. The people on the show meet their future spouses at the alter-so it’s a twist on arranged marriages. Interesting stuff. Well, the episode on this particular night had a ton of couple selfies while they were lying in bed. My husband watches this program with me as a gift, so we can spend time together, and during this show he smiled at me and said “Hey, we’ve never tried a selfie lying in bed, we’re going to try this tonight.” I agreed, thinking that gravity may actually work in my favor. Maybe, just maybe, we would look really young. But secretly, I was hoping he would forget. He did not. We had just crawled into bed when he reached for his phone and said “scoot over here, honey, let’s give this a try.” The room was dimly lit, so the flash that occurred was shocking and nearly blinded us both, I screamed and he dropped his phone right on my head (picture at the bottom of the post.) Don't rush down to look- it's worth the wait! Keep reading. We both look half dead, and the absolute opposite of cool. We look like two old fogies pretending to be something we are not. The picture was so bad and the experience so shockingly funny, it became the subject of a conversation that ran on for a few days and is now the subject of this post. Is it OK to desire to be cool?
From a biblical prospective there is no encouragement to be cool. The Bible is clearly a book written for all time, it is the inspired word of God. It is like the perfect little black dress- timeless. We are never encouraged to be hip or part of the in crowd. Instead we realize while reading the word that Jesus was not a fad -"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Hebrews 13:8) And simply put, that is my answer. My pursuit of cool is outside my pursuit of God. I know I must be relevant enough as to not inadvertently offend my younger Christian brothers and sisters or be accessible enough to be a light to the modern world. But I must be very aware that my desire to be cool can often be counter God. (1 John 2:15) A more important pursuit would be a pursuit of holiness. Not a popular topic, because it steps on toes. This pursuit requires me to look at my life from the vantage point of the cross, and when I do my selfish desires pale. This look through a scarlet lens is what makes me sacrifice my time and comfort, and spend my days deep in the messiness that can be the married life of friends and neighbors. It causes me to re-look at my finances and not want to make my own treasure through fancy savings accounts/IRAs, but instead continue to look for ways to give and to truly trust God to supply all my needs. The pursuit of holiness forces me to look in the spiritual mirror and ask those hard questions- the kind of question that when answered honestly, typically results with me on my knees and a time of much needed repentance. It questions why I desire to be cool and puts my ego in check. In this pursuit of a truly word washed life, I am reminded of the truth that anything that is not God's won’t last. It will be burned up and lost. So my pursuit of God and His holiness is the only eternal endeavor I will ever undertake while here on earth. Let that sink in for a minute… pursuit of popularity or acceptance in the world won't matter in the twinkle of an eye. The pursuit of the perfect golf swing- fleeting, and in my case impossible. Pursuit of the perfect hair style or hair color- who will care. Pursuit of financial security- “not gonna take it with us.” Pursuit of cool- irrelevant! Our pursuit of personal holiness, or our pursuit of a Christ-like life is what matters. It has eternal value and is well worth the chase!
This pursuit of holiness needs to be a joint venture between you and your spouse. This is the way God intended. Your spouse is tailor made for the job, so is mine. No one knows me like Jody does or you like your spouse does. They see us with 20/20 vision. Jody knows me and loves me! He knows my every wart, he knows my battles with sin, he knows me and he still loves me. Given that kind of security, Jody can easily be the instrument that God uses to speak truth to me like none other, and I to him. We can hold each other accountable -24/7. Cool, huh? If you have not given your spouse permission to hold you accountable or “speak truth in your life” when needed, don’t let another day go by without doing so. Invite your spouse to participate in your pursuit of God and His holiness. This is a great benefit of a godly marriage, you don't have to journey alone.
Allow your marriage to be the tool used by God to grow the two of you closer to Him and in turn to each other. Not a sexy post today, but I believe a timely one. And for the record, when you and your spouse are in close communion with our Heavenly Father- cool things happen! Love will abound. Laughter will flow. Joy will prevail.
Peace Out, friend! LOL (loads of love!)
Now the selfie you've been waiting for....