Hey guys, this is Trent
I guess I have another serious post. More of a pleading request than a post.
I have been thinking a lot lately about life and what is considered "normal" and to be honest a lot of normal life is pretty terrible/boring. Why do we allow terrible boring things to be "normal"...? Anyway...
I don't think that normal has to exist at all. Why not do something different? Why not be unique? Why not try something crazy?
After that rant of an intro, I am sure I lost half my audience but for those of you still with me...here is what I wanted to really talk about: transparency. Why is it normal to be totally un-transparent?
Disclaimer--Obviously I am not advocating for complete and total transparency...the cashier at Hy-Vee doesn't really want to hear about your struggles and achievements.
I was at a Young Life meeting tonight and God just spoke to me in the way He so effectively does. No booming voice, no burning bush, just a message. All of the sudden I was looking around at these people that I serve with (some of which I know well) and thinking about the hard things they are all going through. I couldn't help but think about the lack of meaningful conversations we've had. Not to say those conversations don't happen, but they are rare. Why?!
People have trouble with real transparency.
This is one of the many reasons that I love Christianity. The bible says "Come to me all who are weak and weary and I will give you rest." Notice it doesn't say, "Come to me all who have their act together and are doing well and I will sit idly by and be happy for you." God knows we are all a mess. He loves us anyway. In fact, you know the people Jesus was toughest on in scripture? The people who acted like they had it all together! He hated that! And you hate it to...admit it.
Think of the last time you said "How are you?" and the response given was: Good, great, awesome, still smiling, ok, or fine...
Did you walk away saying, "wow I love that person, so happy they are doing well!" NO! YOU KNOW YOU DIDN'T! We hate that, because it is totally fake!
On the other hand why do we LOVE gossip? Because it is usually some little ounce of truth that no one would normally tell people. We want to know what is actually going on SO BAD but we dance around life and act like everything is great.
Why are we so afraid of saying what is on our minds, or going on in our lives? Are we afraid to look bad? Afraid of what people will think? Afraid of being different? Afraid no one will understand? Afraid we will fail? What is it?
I have never found actual peace in hiding my true self from people. I have never gained real friends by presenting a fake image of myself. I have never actually felt good about being successful while being fake.
I don't think anyone would disagree or argue differently.
So if lack of transparency doesn't give us peace, doesn't build friendships/make us popular and doesn't make you a real success...then why do we all act like it is so normal?
I realize that isn't easy to do. I realize it isn't always practical. But think about it. Talk to a friend about it. I think the more you bring up transparency, the more it will become a part of your life. There is reason that we hold old friends so dear...it is because they know the real us. We can be honest and transparent around them. There is freedom in that. There is peace in that.
Just be you. People love that.