Friday, November 21, 2008

Coldplay Like God (Great Expectations)

As I was sitting at Coldplay, I realized that they were like God. Wait, before you question whether or not I’m pulling my golden calf out of the furnace, hear me out.

When I went to see Coldplay for the first time a few weeks ago, I was expectant but had no idea what those expectations looked like. I knew it would be good, but I didn’t know HOW good. My seats were perfect too. I had a perfect view of the stage, great acoustics, and they even came out from the stage to the tier right below me. I had paid 2nd tier prices for 8th row seats (well, for at least 2 songs)  A-mazing…I almost cried at one point. I can’t even explain the emotion I felt because of my life situation at that moment. I was with one of my best friends, away from work (destressed), and in sunny Florida sharing space with Chris Martin. Does it get better??

Well, if one show is good, isn’t a 2nd show better? That was my mindset as I bought one lonely ticket to the Dallas show for that next week (that was all they had left, I might add). I fought traffic solo, parked, bundled up in the wind, and braced myself for the hike to my nosebleed seats that I swear were situated in the Himalayas. In fact, I was in what I call the “echo nook” of the AAC—it trapped all the echoes and bounced them back and forth like a game of “keep away.” Only, I was the sad little kid in the middle. Not good. I certainly enjoyed the performance, but I honestly felt a little slighted. At one point I thought, “I’m sure glad I had Orlando because I know they sound better than this (and for the record, it was still phenomenal). I kind of felt sorry for the folks who experienced Coldplay like that. I watched as some walked out early and others left to use the bathroom in the middle of ‘Fix You’ (what?!) Part of me wanted to stop them and start explaining how amazing it could be. What good would that do? It doesn’t change their experience…but it also doesn’t change the truth that Coldplay is much better than this. It was all a matter of distorted experience and circumstance.

THAT is when I realized how much this is like my feelings toward the LORD. How often do I come to Him with a plan already mapped out, expectantly waiting for Him to “recreate” His 1st performance by my standards. But, by the nature of location and emotional circumstance, it is never what I expect (even if it was the exact plan I’d had—it wouldn’t meet my precise expectations). Just as a music note travels a different path in a different venue, so God cannot be measured or calculated. We can never guess the mind and plan of the LORD.

Even when my experience with Him tells me that He “let me down” or failed my great expectations, it doesn’t change the Universal Truth of His promises or how magnificent He is. He makes no apology for where you are sitting—how close or far depends on you. If you put yourself in a nosebleed echo chamber, the fault is not His. That same dissonance you hear from there is a spine-tingling masterpiece to those in correct proximity. God designed you to sit on the front row of creation; Himself, center stage. That scenario is the best, but certainly not the only one. I often feel the need to “explain Jesus” to people (or really, stick up for Him), as if He needs ME as His PR person [insert belly laugh here].

I believe I need to keep myself in the front row and allow Him to blow my mind instead of trying to recreate 2nd rate, calculated experiences full of human expectation. I also feel I should start pulling people from the rafters and offer the front row ticket Jesus bought with His life. They need only to pick it up at ‘will call’…

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My Birthday Gift

I am turning 30 in a just a few weeks, and I am pretty excited! 29 has been awesome and I fully expect 30 to be even better (or so I've heard...). But, I really love presents and today I think I got the best one of all:

I was sitting with my little high school campers that are in my small group for the Texas Governor's School at UNT. Two "college" guys came and sat down and started chatting. They were complete morons and one of my kids even said, "They remind me of Superbad. All we would need is McLovin'!" (I laughed hysterically here)

They were 'enlightening' us on the joys of college life such as drinking and sex and how it will be awesome for us if we would do those things when we finally get to college. I turned to my little teens and said, "I beg to differ...I think you can do the exact opposite and have an amazing experience." The guys looked confused and said, "Oh, are you a college student?"

"No, I am actually 30." To my delight, they almost fell out of their chairs and said, "We thought you were in high school...we thought you were one of them!"

While it doesn't change the fact that I am turning 30 (which I honestly don't mind), it is good to know that I may need to keep my ID handy--not just for drinks, but maybe for R-rated movies as well!

Ps. About four hours after that, I spent the evening in the ER with symptoms of a heart attack. Turns out to be grief-related anxiety I think, so no worries. However, it somewhat took the wind out of my "high school" sails.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Dreaded Purple Pen

Today I'm using a purple pen...and I don't like it. In fact, I've been downright resisting its use. It comes right to the fact that I don't accept change very easily. I will do it, but I find my heart tends to hold a grudge for a bit, remembering the good 'ole days of black ink. Even small things such as the color of my words gets me in a state of fear...where will it end? Who will see to it that I get my recognition? How will I feel when this new change takes affect??

I also feel sometimes it is related to my control (or lack thereof). When change happens, you are usually forced to deal...and I can't really say "forcing" is the best way to get Katie Brown to do anything. Flowers...yes. Kind words, flattery...sure. Reason...absolutely. Dragging...not so much.

I guess what I realize is that if I don't switch to purple ink sometimes, my words will become merely an indentation on a page--an embossing of my thoughts--because sometimes the black ink runs out whether you like it or not.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

What to do when you have the flu...

As I was taking a break from sleeping by sitting on my couch this morning, the sunlight broke through the blinds, creating a streak across my sightline. There in the light, I saw a “fuzzy” floating through the air—dainty and graceful. I have a weird fascination with “little things” and my friends all know that to be true. Something about it made me want to grab the little fuzzy. I’m not sure why…I don’t even know what I would’ve done with it if I had captured it anyway. Regardless, my instinct was to reach out and grab what I wanted. Like a child, I let desire overcome logic and just as I pinched it, the force of the air pushed it away from my grip. I admit to being a little sad that it floated away (okay, before you judge, know that I am recovering from a self-diagnosed flu and have nothing better to do than sleep and watch “fuzzies” float through the air!). What I realized (as I often do) is how much of a life comparison that is for humans.

If we want something, we are taught to “go for it” or “go get it”—strive, work, toil for it. That makes sense for some things, but I don’t think it always bodes well for things of the heart: desires, dreams, hopes. Not that I am advocating sitting on our behinds doing nothing, but I wonder how much more joy we would have it we would hold out our extended, open palm (work to get ourselves ready and in position for blessing) and then wait for the floating fuzzy to gracefully land on our hand (allow God to bless the work we’ve done in whatever way He chooses).

I’ve noticed that the more I strive in my own desire for things, the more it repels from my grasp—much like the dancing fuzzball. If I trust and allow God to work with my open fingers by laying my desires, requests, hopes and dreams before Him, stuff just seems to work out for the best, you know? I hope this makes sense, as I may just realize I’m writing gibberish when I fully recover from “medicine head.”