Don't you wanna be the last one standing out?

Almost a year ago I had a phone conversation with one of my good friends in Kansas City.  I remember that it was shortly after deciding to pursue Seminary full-time and the desires that I had to work within the Church were becoming more strong.  I am pretty sure that I spent most of the time in that conversation venting about our generation’s lack of concern for the Church…or something along those lines.  After we hung up, she got on her blog and spun some words together about our conversation and posted them for all to read.  I remember the next day reading them and while I knew they were about me not being able to believe that she actually thought those things about me.
She spoke in musical metaphors and about how I don’t run from dissonance.  Instead I ask the question of “how can I make this better?”  It’s an interesting concept that I’m not sure I see in myself.  I struggle with if I should even post this here because I’m afraid that it will sound vain or self-glorifying.  But it’s something that I’ve been processing lately so bare with me.
I think often times I have a bit of a critical eye.  Not that I’m a cynical person necessarily, but that I look at the world through this lens that strives for something better.  I think I’ve had it all my life and I’m just now learning how to hone it, or more-so, how to use it for good.    At the end of last semester our small group had the chance to affirm each other and we took the time to speak a word into each other’s lives.  It was a beautiful, Spirit filled time of affirmation, and one of my fellow seminarians used the words “fight and grit” to describe me.  He told me I was someone who didn’t run from the grit of life and would stick around to fight it.
Now, something you should know about our small group is that we weekly get together to share what is going on in our lives and then we take time to share with each other a word that we feel has been given to us by the Spirit for each other.  Our group is fabulous.  Other classmates don’t feel the same way about their groups but miraculously, our group is just really good and entering into this time together.  Of the times we’ve met together I would say about 90% of the things shared with me – from my classmates from the Spirit – have been either dead on in the moment or have come around full circle in the coming days.  So when Ed shared “fight and grit” with me … I was intrigued to see how that would play out.
Getting to the point now … being in Seminary has really made me question my call and my identity.  I’ve had a lot of moments where I’ve stumbled and thought to myself, “I don’t want to be this person” but the problem is in identifying the person I do want to be – or more so the person that God has created me to be.  Being here has made me realize that this “critical eye” (I’m struggling through a better way to name this) is something worth investing some effort in and realizing that maybe, just maybe, it’s something God had given me for Kingdom work, but only if I learn to use it right.  To use it to point out injustices or places where we need to grow.
Which leads me to this blogs title, it’s from a song by the Damnwells that says:
Don’t you wanna be last one standing out?
Don’t you wanna be filling up the dark?
So just sing it loud, once you think you’ve figured out …

In a world where everyone is striving to be the same and not “rock the boat” …. Don’t you wanna be the last one standing out?

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