I normally like to think I’m pretty alternative. In fact, I’m typing this in an indie coffee shop while listening to a band called Explosions in the Sky that, I’d venture to say, most of my friends have never heard of. That might say more about my friends than it does about my alternativeness but that’s another post. I bought my wife a magazine nobody gets for Christmas and I often ride a bicycle to work. I love Kiva, I support TOMS (but can’t wear them), I read Shane Claiborne, I don’t own a PC.
I’m just a $2,000 point-and-shoot camera and a french press short of full-fledged hipster status.
The funny thing about all of it though, is that everybody else is doing the exact same thing.
When I walked into the coffee shop tonight it felt like I was entering the Apple Store. Seriously, there’s a sign on the door that says “no shoes, no shirt, no service for PCs (we have wireless for Macs). Everybody was trying out their new iPads and rocking out to all the Mumford and Sons they bought with iTunes gift card Christmas presents.
It all just felt like a big game.
I get on this blog and talk about how different and cool we are for embracing minimalism or not having TV and yet the truth is we just fill the idolatrous void left by those things with something else.
In reality, I’m about as pre-packaged as they come. I grew up in Mayberry, I played all the good sports, wore all the right clothes, parents paid for college, got a “normal” job after graduation and now…I guess sometimes I’m just trying to be different enough to make a difference.
It’s easy for Jen, it’s kind of just part of who she is. Normal people don’t wallow around in Netflix for hours on end perusing every North Korean documentary ever made. Normal people don’t feel faint over sewing machines made in the 1970s. Normal people don’t make their own New Year’s clothes.
And this I have learned in 6 short months — that alternativeness is not a goal to be attained. Actually, alternatives isn’t even the point. The point is that I step outside of my own little boxed up shrink-wrapped world to catch a glimpse of the grander plan God would have for both of us.
So, my wife, I’m sorry for when I trade the sins of materialism and conformity for the sin of self-worship. One is not better than the other, rather one is easier to cover up…