When I first was gifted with this site I decided to be somewhat more candid here than, say, in the “Monday Morning Mailing” or on Facebook. Not too many people will be visiting this site anyway, so it can be a repository for a few of my deeper thoughts and feelings without actually sharing them with a whole lot of people. Not totally candid, but more so.
The particular line of thinking that generated this entry began when I recalled an incident in sixth grade. My lack of athletic ability hadn’t registered completely with me yet. We were in the school gym getting ready to play basketball. For some reason, I don’t recall an adult present (can’t imagine how that could have happened, but then, I can’t imagine how the incident could have occurred without some repercussion if an adult had been present).
Teams were being chosen and, not surprisingly, I was the last one left. I asked the one captain, a boy who was unusually tall for his age (nickname, “Sky”), “How about me?”
His response: “You? Who cares about you?”
It was the earliest experience of rejection that I can recall. But it was by far not the last.
Many years later I found myself pastoring a church, playing guitar in the praise band. They seemed to be open to having members suggest songs that they believed to have some meaning and could be considered for possible use in a worship service. The suggestions came in now and then over a fairly long period of time.
Finally I got up enough chutzpah to share a song I had learned while on retreat with a youth group who visited a church camp in Kentucky. It was called “Simpson,” and was about a boy who was assaulted for being different. The quiet, dirge-like song ends with an analogy comparing Simpson’s death to that of Jesus, who also died for being different. The song was always a disturbingly poignant one for me — one that got me thinking.
Instead of receiving the song in the spirit I had intended it, one band member’s response was, “Nice way to bring us all down, Karl.” He was serious too. It was the last time I ever suggested a song. In fact, I’m still hesitant to do so with the band in which I currently play for fear of that same rejection. While the band I play with these days is a bit more open to my suggestions, they aren’t usually overly enthusiastic when I do bring one to their attention. Recently, I introduced them to Mylon LeFevre’s “Crack the Sky,” a song with a hard-pounding drum intro, a relentless rhythm, and very loud vocals. The band members were cordial, but that’s as far as it went.
I’ve become accustomed to having my ideas overlooked. My family will usually change any ideas I come up with to something they would rather have or do. But now, instead of feeling hurt or rejected, I’ve learned to accept it, feeling that if people didn’t reject my ideas, I wouldn’t be me.
So, now you know why I called this entry a pity party. I’m sure that if anyone actually stumbles across this one, their first thought will be a sarcastic, “Oh, poor baby. Such a shame.” And that’s OK. By rejecting this blog, it just continues a path for my life that was set in sixth grade.