Friday, May 6, 2011

Authentically Unoriginal

I recently heard some things (very good things, by the way) about authenticity, about how nothing we do is truly original.  We’ve all stolen something from somewhere, added maybe a dash or two of ‘us’ to the mix and then ran with it, whether it be a story or our personas, our faith or our songs.  The idea is not to be ‘original’, but rather to be authentic as people and as Christians.

“There is nothing new under the sun,” wrote the Preacher in Ecclesiastes 1:9, and he was – and is – right.  In my own life, I only have to look at many of the stories I have written.  As much as I may like to think they 100% fresh, new, never-before-penned ideas, I know such is not the case.  I’ve taken bits from television shows, movies, other stories, songs, and even real life, added hopefully a bit of me to the mix, and then put pen to page (and more often, fingers to keyboard), dashing away to a place I hope others will follow me to.

My faith has (and is) being built in a similar way.  I didn’t come into it all on my own. There are the pastors and teachers, family members and friends, strangers and even fictional characters who have helped shape and mold my view of God, His kingdom and His ways.  Much of it, I believe, has been good and right and true.  Some of it is distorted*.  And all of it comes together to make my faith, well, my faith.  It’s sort of like a patchwork quilt.  Bits and pieces are collected, stitched together, cut out if necessary and scrapped while something new is added in.

So it may not be original, the things that we do.  But may they be real, may they be something worth imitating.  And may they even be something worth stealing.

*My aim is not to point fingers.  As I mentioned in a previous post, sometimes I simply don’t hear what is really being said.

No comments: