After a week of debating whether or not I wanted to return home for Labor Day weekend, I settled on coming home. I guess it was my friend Timmy who convinced me, leaving me a voicemail beseeching me to return home this weekend because too he would be home. Timmy goes to EKU – a source of my constant frustration because he teased me into thinking he might come to Cedarville. So I spent my first Saturday in two weeks here at the home of my parents. It doesn’t really feel like my home anymore. All my stuff, and essentially, my heart, has found its home at Cedarville. I came back to an empty room that used to be my place of solace and now holds for me no meaning. Don’t get me wrong – I love my family, and I like being with them. It’s just that my house feels foreign. It was just the oddest feeling to walk into the room you’ve dwelled in since 4th grade to find that it isn’t really yours anymore.
So I spent Saturday trying to shake off the recurring feelings of nostalgia as I walked around my house. I took several hours to delight in the ABSOLUTE BEAUTY that is Lecrae’s new album Gravity. I preordered it from Family Christian, so it arrived at my house three days before the release date. I feel extremely blessed to be in possession of such redemptive, honest music. Lecrae is an incredible servant of the Lord. I just pray that he can remain humble in light of the onset of fame that’s about to hit him like a tidal wave. I got really dramatic as I opened up the CD – it felt momentous to put it into my CD player and as I hit play on the intro track I just completely lost it, jumping up and down and screaming “YES!!!” in a blissful fit of joy. Lecrae’s beats rolled over me as I drowned in the music. And I was completely okay with being a martyr for that cause.
That night I had an extreme (and completely unexpected) craving for Starbucks. Seriously, it never happens. I grabbed Coop and we went to the Centerville Starbucks together, running into Ian Wright of all people. Ian was standing outside with his friend Kelsey, but they came back in and sat with us and talked, Cooper ordering the fruitiest drink available (the Strawberry Creme Frapp) and me ordering the incredible blended Strawberry Lemonade. Ian talked about all the stuff going on in his life, his position as the Southbrook lighting guy, and just how things had been since I left. I divulged a couple of details about my experience at Cedarville, trying not to brag about how amazing it’s been within the first two weeks. The poor kid’s still in the horribly torturous thing we call high school. Which, by the way, are NOT THE FOUR BEST YEARS OF YOUR LIFE. Not that my high school years were so awful, I’m just saying, generally speaking, no one should ever say the four years you spend in high school are your life’s “best”. When you’re in high school, you’re a shadow of who you’re supposed to be, bending to the whims of others to survive relatively unscathed. Trust me, I know. I wanted the best of both worlds in high school – to be myself but still be loved by everyone around me. I got elected to homecoming court my senior year, a dream of mine, but afterwards I felt as empty as I did before without the crown. It just made me realize that getting the approval of a bunch of people who really don’t know me at all was a completely vain pursuit. College is my chance to restart – in this restart I’m trying the same approach to being myself, just not trying to win everyone’s approval. How can you possibly win everyone’s approval, anyways? If you’re truly following the Gospel, people are going to hate you. The Gospel is offensive. It’s not a “people pleaser”.
I apologize for rambling.
On Sunday I woke up bright and early to go to Southbrook with my brother. We went to the 9:30 service, like always, and I saw my friend Zach Muller, who’s going to Cincinnati Christian University, and got to catch up with him for a bit. I also got to see a bunch of my church friends. Cooper and I saved a chair between us for Timmy, who arrived halfway through the second song in our morning worship. He’s really taken this liking to being impeccably dressed. Seriously. He was wearing a button down with a black tie, grey skinny jeans, oxfords, and his glasses. He looked sharp. I have to admit, I love it when guys dress up. It is so completely unexpected, so completely unusual, that when it occurs it’s so awesome it’s hard not to be amazed. One of my favorite pastors of all time, Joe Boyd, spoke this service – he’s the teaching pastor at the Vineyard in Cincinnati and he visits my church every so often to speak when our head pastor Charlie is out. Charlie’s out a good 75% of the time. I digress. I should have been overjoyed that Joe was speaking, and I was originally, but as soon as he got into the meat of what he was dissecting – that is, the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6, I realized he was recycling a sermon he did with his church a couple of weeks ago – one I’d listened to via podcast. I was bitter.
After church, Timmy, Cooper and I went to Goodwill. We have an awesome Goodwill near us – there’s always some really interesting items and some really practical items – I can never leave without buying something. Cooper tried on this leather jacket and fell madly in love – he didn’t take it off until Timmy bought it for him (on a loan) and then proceeded to wear it all the way home, vowing to “wear it everyday”. I got this winter coat from American Eagle that reminds me of the Burberry winter collections – its dark plaid makes me really happy. Timmy tried on all kinds of suitcoats, hoping to find the perfect one, but every one he tried on was wrong in some way. He finally found a “perfect” one only to find, after the comment of one storeworker that it was “too short”. He was upset. He considered buying a plushy-looking robe only to decide that it probably wasn’t necessary.
So Timmy has to be the best dressed kid on EKU’s campus. And the best part is? He buys a large part of his wardrobe from thrift stores. OH YEAH.
So now I’m back at school, feeling in my element again. This weekend I return home for Kyle’s 14th birthday. Wow, that kid’s growing up incredibly fast.
peace in Christ,