Tales of a third grade nothing…

This video is a perfect example of what it is like to live a compartmentalized […]

DPotter / 8.4.09

This video is a perfect example of what it is like to live a compartmentalized life.

Allow me to elaborate upon the concept of compartmentalization with a personal story. When I was in the 3rd grade, my father participated in a downhill ski race. He returned home with what I thought was the coolest souvenir…a pin-on race number.

Here’s where the story gets interesting, because it just so happened that tomorrow was going to be a special day at school and I had spotted the perfect opportunity to boost my stock with my classmates. The next day, after dad went off to work, I grabbed his number and stuffed it in my gymbag…tick-tock…the school day wore on slowly until I heard Mrs. Stock say those magic words: ‘Now it is time for show and tell!’ At last, I could show off what I felt was a symbol of daring, a statement about what I was made of, a sign that proved once and for all that I was a man on the move,
down a slalom course in some exotic location, my sleek 8 year old profile zipping by legions of adoring snow bunnies….you get the picture. I had lied. I had pretended that the race number was my own. I had tried to live as if I was in dad’s ski boots; my song and the true story line were out of synch, and my friends knew it.

Since my teacher went to the same church that we did, it was not long before I found myself, at my father’s insistence, before the class again, this time with a true story about who I really was. That was a painful lesson, and I wish I could tell you that I had learned and moved on…but I still fall prey to the temptation to act out a storyline which conflicts with what is truly going on. Such anecdotes would be exhibitionistic were it not for an existential solution. Thank God for Jesus Christ and the cross, because that is the place where all that God is meets with who we are…and this is Good News because it is a continual meeting for each of us. Every day, whether we think about it or not, the righteousness of Christ meets with the tangled identities we have constructed for the benefit of others. Like the *honest* version of the Penny Lane video above, the cross speaks the true words about who we really are so that the disjointed projections of ourselves may cringe in the face of the One who has miraculously ‘synched’ our lives with His own.