Friday, August 10, 2007

Standing on the edge of everything I've never been before

I've been meaning to write this note for a while, but never got around to it. So here goes. As many of you know, I've been kind of figuring out my life recently, being away from my former life for nine months and all. And I was listening to Switchfoot the other day, and I realized that On Fire really seemed to describe where I'm at. So that's how this thing's gonna go down.

They tell you where you need to go

They tell you when you'll need to leave

They tell you what you need to know

They tell you who you need to be

Yeah, this is kind of my life to this point. Not exactly explicitly, but it's always been there - the expectation of what I was supposed to be. As a preacher's kid, as a good Christian kid, as a Bradshaw. My family is very conservative - like, really conservative - and there's a very specific set of things that I am supposed to know, a specific image of who I'm supposed to be. And I am really good at faking it. I've had 18 years of practice, and I can be a good Christian if I want to, on the outside.

But everything inside you knows

There's more than what you've heard

There's so much more than empty conversations

Filled with empty words

This is kind of what I've hit in the past year - as I go on, I've been realizing more and more that my whole life has been empty conversations, empty words - I've thought about it, and it's true. There's nothing behind my act, no sincerity, no real relationship or belief.

And you're on fire

When He's near you

You're on fire

When He speaks

You're on fire

Burning at these mysteries

This being the part that is a bit iffy - I'm not. Not yet. Not on fire, not feeling near at all. Not hearing anything. Because like I said - I haven't had anything for 18 years, it's not just gonna start now.

Give me one more time around

Give me one more chance to see

Give me everything You are

Give me one more chance to be... (near You)

I see this as my second chance. The first time, I screwed it up big time. So now I get a second try, without the expectations, without the pressure, without the disappointment if I don't come out quite like I'm "supposed" to.
This time around, it's looking better. First time, around, I didn't really have anyone to confide in, to talk about my spiritual life. For the first, oh, 14 years or so, we didn't even have a youth minister, and that person sure wasn't going to be my dad. No offense, he's a great guy - and I really respect him, especially after talking to him recently. But I need someone outside the family, someone that's not my father and my pastor, someone to talk to that won't pass judgement, that won't be disappointed in me if I tell them all this. And this time around, I think I've found that place at Bethany Pres, possibly Quest. John Chase is an amazing guy - and I'm very thankful for him. I've talked to him a few times, and I hope to to so more this coming year, because I'll need it. I've also got a few friends that I can confide in, that are great to talk to and talk things out, because that's how I figure things out - if I have to explain it verbally, I'll come out with a lot better understanding of what I'm actually thinking in the end.

Cause everything inside me looks like

Everything I hate

You are the hope I have for change

You are the only chance I'll take

Yeah, I guess I've kind of already covered this...but something I just thought of - I hate it when people are fake. Besides the whole religion thing, I try my best to be who I actually am, and cut the fake crap. Turns out in probably the most significant area of my life, I'm a fake of the worst kind. Dang.

When I'm on fire

When You're near me

I'm on fire

When You speak

And I'm on fire

Burning at these mysteries

These mysteries...

I'm standing on the edge of me [x3]

I'm standing on the edge of everything I've never been before.

And i've been standing on the edge of me

Standing on the edge

Yeah. This is a powerful image that very aptly describes where I am. I imagine myself, on a cliff, with everything I've ever been, the me part, behind me. And down below is everything else - everything I've never been before. Just ready to discover all that stuff down there. I love that line - everything I've never been before - so true. Because down there is sincerity, real belief, real relationship, actually having a faith - everything that I have never had, but appeared to.

And I'm on fire

When You're near me

I'm on fire

When You speak

(Yea) I'm on fire

Burning at these mysteries... these mysteries... these mysteries

Ah you're the mystery

You're the mystery

Yeah. Mystery is right. The other difficulty in this is that I am very type B, and very thinking-oriented, go figure. For the Jung/Myers-Briggs people out there, I'm an ENTP. Basically, I have a very hard time being emotionally connected with much of anything. I'm a cynic, and as horrible as it sounds, I haven't ever really felt for all those kids in Africa, or South America, or whatever exotic destination. Yeah, it's a bummer that they're stuck there, and it sucks, but I don't have any kind of emotional connnection. In addition, I'm logical to a fault. The combination of the two makes figuring out this faith thing kind of difficult. I can't just feel it, that doesn't work for me. I have to know it, I have to understand it.

So yeah...this isn't a call for help. I don't want everyone to try to 'fix' me now. Because that won't help, I promise. I've been 'fixed' for 18 years, and this is how I ended up. It's my turn to figure out how this thing we call faith works, and I'm gonna have to figure it out myself. I'll talk to others, I'll get counsel or whatever you call it - but on my own terms. I have the feeling I'll end up with a rather different view than my parents on a lot of stuff, but that's what college is for - for defining yourself. Right?