Bound To Be Cool
Pastor Clay Faulk
Let’s be honest for a moment. How much of our life has been spent in pursuit of trying to be “cool?” I look back at the years spent as a kid, teen, and adult and I have to say, there has been a good amount of time spent on trying to be cool.
My kids, and likely your kids too, probably think you’re not cool at all. If you would just let them do everything they want then… nahhh. Even then they wouldn’t see you as cool… you’re just too old. What is cool changes from year to year doesn’t it? Cool has been ducktails, penny loafers, bell bottom jeans, pet rocks, peace signs, Members Only jackets, Walkman, jogging, parachute pants, and all those various things that seemed so important at that particular time.
Maybe cool began with questions like, “How do I look?” or “How do I sound?” and “How do other people see me?” These questions have been with people since Adam and Eve ate the fruit in the Garden of Eden (Why do you think they both grabbed fig leaves?).
For most of us, chasing cool started with self awareness. I am not sure exactly when the day comes when real self awareness begins, but it has to be during childhood, but most likely after the first few grades. Most little kids don’t really worry too much about being cool… they just like what they like and let you know it. But, at some point, it is imperative to be known as either good at something, respected for something, or at least viewed by others as someone to reckon with in some way. It may be just being known for trying to BE cool (remember Fonzie, aka.”The Fonz” from the TV show Happy Days).
Usually chasing cool is of no real consequence, but we might run into the problem of trying to be “too cool.” A few years back, if you remember, Camel cigarettes used the cartoon character Joe Cool in its ads. I really don’t think too many adults past 30 see a teenager smoking and think, “that’s so cool”, but I suspect that’s often why most teens start smoking. Brad Paisley’s hit song “Online” told us that a certain fellow logged onto his computer and suddenly “lost weight, grew hair, developed six-pack abs, and got cooler online.” Again, it’s not too cool to be such a liar… or at least that un-self aware.
I think the one place to definitely stop chasing cool is with God. In fact, those who chased cool in Jesus’ day were generally the people he saw as most offensive. They were the people who had to look, act, and speak in ways that simply created a mask of their real selves. These were Pharisees, scribes, Sadducees, men throwing stones, and the like. Jesus called people accountable who held onto tradition and ritual above the needs of people. Being “a fool” for Christ was probably seen as pretty un-cool. But I think that my favorite Jesus description of un-cool is in the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15. Jesus says the father saw his son far away and “ran” to him. This is an act that would have been very un-cool. Basically the father pulled his robe up around his mid section and ran. What an embarrassing sight! Yet, this is how God loves us. Enough to rush to us with no worry about how it looks or what others might think. Thus, we should never be bound by worrying about the same stuff in order to get with God. Passionate worship, lively singing, whatever… if you can be free to glorify God you should never ever worry about what is “cool” at church. Never let it bind you up in such a way as to hinder your giving God glory. God wants the real you and God wants you to be focused on… well… God, and not on how you might look to anyone else. 1 Corinthians 4:10 tells us, “We are fools for Christ…” that is, if we aren’t in chains from trying to be cool. Be real… and THAT will be cool with God. Until next time, Blessings!