The X-factor might have changed my life.
A couple of weeks ago Astr0, (the boy who looks like he’s about six), ended up having to ‘perform for his life’. He’s a rapper and he’s actually really good, but when he was thrust into a position where he felt threatened he acted like kind of a punk.
He crossed his arms and almost refused to sing because he was so offended to be in the bottom of the group.
God isn’t the only one who opposes the proud. The audience began chanting for him to go home like some mob cheering for the death of their once favorite gladiator.
The more Simon and his coach would urge him to demonstrate some humility, the straighter his spine would get and the more he would mouth off.
He was the picture of stubborn defiance. He kept shrugging off the situation and holding to his defensive protestation that he didn’t care what happened – send him home if they wanted! But in the middle of the apathy he was trying to convey, tears began to seep out of the corners of his eyes. His tough guy routine was sabotaged by his body.
All his bravado couldn’t hide the fact that he was actually hurting and afraid. Watching that boy of a man standing on stage all proud and defiant, with nothing but his tears to betray him, I had a break through.
I’m exactly like Astro. It was like looking into this mirror. I know everything he was feeling so well.
I have a weird defiance and disobedience that comes when I think I’m in trouble with an authority figure. I’m a good kid when things are going well, but the second I think someone might be getting ready to scold me, I act like I don’t care and I actually actively pursue disobedience.
Why? To show them that I don’t care. Even though I do. A lot. I’m terrified of being disapproved of.
Some of my earliest memories were the horror of getting in trouble. To this day, when my boss says he wants to talk to me my stomach drops. I’m sitting here writing in a coffee shop and he just called and I’m still anxious. I have no reason to think I’m in trouble, but it’s still my automatic assumption, and before I even return that call, let me tell you – I’ll have racked my brain for all the possible trouble spots and have planned a defensive speech for every possible scenario.
I am afraid of getting in trouble, but unlike normal people, that fear doesn’t lead me to obey. I’m like Astro. I find myself intentionally disobeying. I’m defiant; on a mission to prove that I’m not afraid (even though I am). I pretend I don’t care. I try to remove everyone’s expectations and let them know that I’ll fail them in every possible way, so that maybe I can get ahead of ever getting in trouble.
Watching Astro’s face on that screen all I could think is how crazy we humans are. We are slaves to rebellion even when we know it will only lead to the death of our dreams. Even when we know that ALL we have to do is bend a knee and we’ll get all the grace we so desperately want, we can’t bring ourselves to do it.
Crazy rebellious humans.
But our rebellion can’t erase our soul’s memories of another world. We were made to need approval from an Authority. We were made to fear the disapproval of that Authority. No matter how much we try to convince ourselves that we don’t care, that need and fear is knit into the deepest parts of our soul’s by our Maker. The tears betray us.
We live a lot of our lives in the tension of Astro on that stage. Thanks be to God who has saved us from that anxiety by sending His Son to save us from our deepest fear and give us our greatest need. Thanks be to God who has saved us from that tension by sending us His Spirit to teach our knees to bend and our heads to bow.