One thing about my brother’s rock band is that they had different names throughout different seasons of their time rocking. I believe the first name was “Someone’s Brother,” which in many ways reflected a softer element of their music. “Chasing Shadows” was somewhere in the mix, but not sure where chronologically. Their sound, however, grew harder and they changed their name to “Shades of Grey” which was my favorite. They decided to move on because it was too close to the Staind album, “14 Shades of Grey,” which had just been released and they ended up with “Beneath.”
I realize that that was some introduction to get to my topic which has very little or nothing at all to do with music. I just admire what my brother and brother-in- law can do with music. It has been good to be back with my family and share life with them with all of our strengths, weaknesses, talents, and interests.
What I found when I came back was a great transition that was a bit difficult for me to adjust. People have said and keep saying that I will experience culture shock but I am not sure if I have, or am, or will be. Not sure how it will manifest itself or even how that would look. I do know that I have struggled but nothing drastically different than anything I have faced before. What I did notice was how I responded to this struggle, which was all too familiar how I had handled these sort of things in the past. I distracted myself.
As I was enveloped with some change and transition I started doing things so I didn’t have to face the reality. I played video games taking the Buffalo Bulls in NCAA Football all the way to their first bowl game and ended the season in the top 25. I started many different TV series and have tried to catch up to what I have missed. I Facebooked…a lot. The thing is endless. You can even play paper, rock, scissors. Don’t get me wrong, these things are not bad in and of themselves at all. I, in fact, love video games, movies, and a portion of Facebook. What I am saying is that there is a grave danger that we can entertain ourselves to death, never really dealing with the reality of life.
Coming back I fell into a routine of putting aside quality time with God. I didn’t want to deal with my hurt or my brokenness. When I am truly reflective on my life, my walk with Christ, my relationships with others I can see clearly the road before me. I can at the very least have a good perspective of where the world ends and I begin. However, when I shoot for entertainment or distractions or escapes I find my vision is severely blurred. There is no clarity as I get lost in the ambiguity of the life I’ve created.
I must deal with my reality and all of its ugliness, difficulties, and hardships. By defining what is ugly in my life I can also see what is truly beautiful. I must see all things, all circumstance, all people, all colors, forms, and shapes in the context of Christ because if I don’t I will just transform into different shades of grey without life, depth, or substance.
I am not totally there and I am not sure if I will get there. Entertainment is not bad, but it should never substitute for dealing with who we are. I just pray that I will be intentional about my walk with the Lord and not ignore my struggles by distracting myself with shadows. I can only be real if I chose to deal with reality.