Thursday, August 6, 2009

do what I say and nobody gets hurt

This weekend I will be back in Waco, filling in as music director on Sunday for First Baptist. I was thinking earlier about the four years I spent at Baylor and how much different my life was back then and the growing I have done since I left the land of green and gold four years ago.

I've mentioned before about how I fell into a difficult time of depression a few years ago, one that I should have seen coming but which really hit me by surprise. There were lots of things that brought it on, but one of the chief culprits was a judgmental spirit I held on to back then.

At the time, there was no word I hated as much as "judgmental." Probably because a bunch of people who didn't understand the word threw it my way a lot.

I shudder to think of what I was like to those who were around me. I had a lot to learn about grace.

I remember feeling like I had this responsibility to proclaim the path of righteousness to those around me. I'd rip people for voting democrat, partaking of adult beverages, going to restaurants with people who partook in adult beverages, smoking pipes on the sidewalk by the dorm (I did waver a bit on the smoking thing - seemingly every other week, I indulged my affinity for cigars), going to non-denominational get the idea.

Funny - kinda - I also remember ripping people for being horribly judgmental. How dare they tell me I'm doing things wrong.

One of my college roommates - I'll call him "Q" because of his love for James Bond movies - caught me in this once. This roommate was a good guy, though it was tough to overlook the beer in our fridge. "Jack," (that's what they called me back then), "how come you watch R-rated movies." I asked, "I don't know, man, how come you watch R-rated movies?" "No, Jack, I mean, you're so big on not watching Family Guy on TV, but you watch R-rated movies. Don't you think that's kind of, I don't know, hypocritical?"

By the way, "judgmental" was the only word I hated more than "hypocritical."

I was stuck, but I pretended not to be. I think my response was particularly well-reasoned and insightful: "Well, I don't watch ALL R-rated movies."

I felt instant remorse after talking with "Q." No, actually I didn't. I actually remember asking how he could see the speck in my eye with the giant redwood protruding from his and then saying something about how I didn't need two Holy Spirits.

It's tempting to blame this on my Southern Baptist background and upbringing. Those things definitely played a part, but I still deal with the guilt from letting myself get into this mindset and attack those around me with it. I should have known. I turned a lot of people off and had few good friends and still thought I was doing the Lord's work or something.

This really grieves me. It's a part of my past that grieves me very deeply. It also makes me all the more thankful for the blood of Christ which covers me. There's nothing else I can do.


Dan Martin said...

As a recovering jerk myself (I almost used a different two-syllable anatomic reference, but I don't know where you draw language lines), I can identify. Looking back, I don't like the guy I was in early college, so I wonder why any of my friends did...

For me, it was serving in Africa for a couple years that opened my eyes to a bigger world and a smaller me in it. What situation(s) or event(s) helped you to see and change this?

stephy said...

I have the same grief for the same kinds of things. I hope God is bigger than the crap I did. (and do)

leo said...

I know that you don't have a high opinion of the way you behaved during your Baylor days, but please realize that some us liked you the way you were back then. Thanks for sharing your new perspective on life.

stephy said...

The mention of Baylor brings my mental picture into sharper focus.

jaigner said...

Thanks for the affirmation, Leo. I'm glad I wasn't without redeeming qualities.

Stephy...yeah...Baylor. I take it you understand.

stephy said...

I went to SWT...well, now it's called Southwest Texas. I dated an Aggie and would wear a longhorn hat whenever I visited College Station to make them mad. BOY DID IT EVER! ahaha