Bob and Weave

Musings of an impostor. Welcome to the masquerade.

The Tagline

Posted by flyingbk on 04/07/2016

My last tagline was as vanilla as it gets. I don’t even remember exactly what it was: something like “links, musings, and other stuff.” As boring as boring can be. So of course, when boring happens, overcompensation ensues. Hence my new tagline. Allow me to explain.
My favorite band is Red. For me, they’re the ideal mix of hard rock (but not too hard), infrequent screaming (but not too much), emotion (mainly angst, which I’m becoming famous for in my circles), and wonder. Oh, and they bring it in concert every time (I estimate that I’ve seen them 7 times). The title of their last album, their magnum opus Of Beauty and Rage, succinctly sums up who they are and what their music is about. It’s the story of many of our lives; we’ve been through lots of stuff (sorry, I don’t swear) that enrages us, but we’re also able to step back and see the beauty in it all.
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The opening track of the album, “Impostor,” inspires the first sentence of the tagline. As a pastor, it’s my high calling and privilege to represent Christ, especially on Sundays. I put my best foot forward with a warm smile, heartfelt prayers, and lots of handshakes (LOTS of handshakes). The peculiar nature of my job is that when people find out what I do, the common reaction is admiration and respect. Just yesterday, a long lost college friend found me on Facebook and used the tried and true “?!” when asking about my vocation. (By the way, these exchanges are always very encouraging and remind me that yes, I should be humbled and thankful for the call God has placed on my life.)
But while my actions come from a genuine place, that place is ever plagued by darkness. The “real me” possesses a sin-soaked heart, and much more selfishness and pride than any virtue. I’d rather do evil than good. In short, I am an impostor.
As the chorus of the song goes: Tell me that you were never real / You need another soul to steal / You’re my impostor /You tell me you were never really real. There’s an impostor within me, and he will always be there. I put my mask on each day in a half-hearted effort to suppress it, but I know it’s like putting lipstick on a pig (I had to use that line since we’re in an election year). The second sentence of my tagline is also a reference to the song. (But I probably chose that word because it’s also a sweet card in Dominion, the best board/card game ever.)
masquerade
However, do not mistake this confession for a problem. There is no lack of peace with this apparent contradiction. In fact, the gospel teaches us that there is only hope for us when we acknowledge the paradox. I always go back to Tim Keller’s definition (cited in many places, including The Meaning of Marriage):
“The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.”
It’s when we realize the first half that we can grasp the second half. So yes, I’m an impostor rife with wickedness and depravity who puts on his mask, aftershave, and hair cream every morning. But Jesus didn’t come to die for the godly (Romans 5:6); he came to die for someone just like me.
So I dance every single day with all the other masks, actually secure with the mask I wear, as I long for the day when the mask disintegrates, and I am given a glorified body. Until then, “I drink from your gaze, a new masquerade.”
FOOTNOTES:
Here’s a performance of “Impostor” live in concert. Cool tidbit: I was at this concert. Not-so-cool tidbit: No, that’s not me head banging in the first row. Although I’m sure if you panned out a row or two…
-For great food for thought on Romans 5:6, read the fourth paragraph here.
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5 Responses to “The Tagline”

  1. […] « The Tagline […]

  2. Empire said

    HAHAHA love the Dominion reference.

  3. […] or disappoint (or even lose the support of) a fellow human being, even when our flaws get exposed (cue my blog’s tagline). And we know that this security is eternally certain because of Jesus. Jesus died on the cross, […]

  4. […] (I especially treasure the never-ending bridge), and come to think of it, also go really well with this blog’s tagline. Here’s the opening snippet that played two days ago at my […]

  5. […] of his top 100 board games. I’m way behind on trying out his top ten games, but I am a Dominion junkie and recently started playing Pandemic (great […]

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