Confession: I’ve been researching the market comparison part of my book proposal.. and it’s making me wonder- is my voice relevant? More than that… Am I relevant? What IS relevant? So I expanded my research to find what’s relevant… here is a synopsis according to the bookshelves- of what is relevant:
- Having an affinity for and interest in: Wine. Beer. Art. Cigars. Obscure authors- And linking them to faith.
- Having a history of substance (of any type) abuse and subsequent recovery.
- Being a wanderer and/or a modern day hippie.
- Having an affinity for reality shows..
- Having a knack for swearing and making it sound biblical.
- Having a rabid ferocity towards believers with a different theology.
- Having a rabid ferocity towards other believers, in general.
- Having a rabid ferocity towards others (in general) that exhibits itself in acerbic observations made under the guise of humor.
- Being marginalized.
- Being politically liberal.
- Being a prodigy or other type of guru.
- Being under 30.
The thing is- these things aren’t relevant to me.
Or maybe, I’m not relevant to them….I’m not sure.
I’ve been wondering if I’m too un-cool, plain, surburban, middle class, boring, in-experienced and totally average to be a relevant voice in the market. More than that… I keep thinking….
“If THIS is what people need/want from Christians in order to connect & to be relevant… I’m irrelevant.”
Am I irrelevant? I may be.
Unless you count:
- my affection for the classics- (which aren’t actually obscure) My affinity for the mundane-ness of life and mothering and finding faith in the middle of them.
- My history of chocolate addiction- (which I have no intention of seeking help for. Let’s face it people, when your dad grows pot in the back yard.. your way of rebelling is to live without drugs…)
- Being a wanderer of Target Stores in which I’m pretty sure I could find clothes to dress like a hippie but wouldn’t because tie-dye makes my butt look big…
- Having an affinity for the discovery channel and food network… thats reality- right?
- My knack for throwing the names and antics of my “mommy bits” into conversation and story because they are hilarious and do funny things after three children….
- My rabid belief that theology that has a commonality in Christ’s gospel is close enough to be a part of the body of Christ and make you my sister/brother co-laborer…
- My rabid ferocity towards loving believers and un-believers even when we are different and disagree….and yes.. even when I don’t at first.. like you…or you don’t at first like me.
- My rabid ferocity at myself that causes me to bring my inconsistencies, failings and quirks into the light under the guise of acerbic (often sarcastic usually brutally honest) humor in hopes that others will find peace in the commonality of not being alone in being human and normal.
- Well- ok– so being part of a nuclear family AND a SAHM is actually feeling more and more marginalized…I might actually be relevant there…
- Being a compassionate conservative..& putting people before money…”Conservative=auto-irrelevant”
- Being average in height, weight, income, experience, intelligence….etc no prodigy or guru here..
- Being old enough to know that: relevance is a relevant term.
Am I relevant? To be honest, I’m still not sure….If it means being something different from who I am.. I’m not sure I even can… (I don’t DO fake well. I do it, of course.. but not well:P)
Is relevance being LIKE others?
I mean.. I could start swilling beer (OK I really couldn’t, I just don’t like beer. No religious thing there.. just makes me gag… ) and pontificating about the great philosophers…(I’m good at pontificating….in case you haven’t noticed..)
But would that really make me relevant?
What is relevance?
Relevance (OK so I went with the wiki def… I admit it) is a term used to describe how pertinent, connected, or applicable something is to a given matter. A thing is relevant if it serves as a means to a given purpose. Imagine a patient suffering a well-defined disease such as scurvy caused by lack of vitamin C. The relevant medical treatment for him would be doses of tablets containing vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Other medicines, such as vitamin B, are non-relevant.
Funny- the definition isn’t exactly what I found in my bookshelf survey….
Maybe relevance is not determined by market share or book sales. Maybe relevance is not determined by TV shows..
Maybe relevance.. is relevant.
To some,I’m sure that beer, art, wine, political liberality, acerbic humor and their faith are a relevant mix… but not to everyone.
There are other voices that need to be heard. There are other (micro)cultures that need to be reached..
It isn’t about being relevant to the culture as represented by the media….. it’s about being relevant to those around us.
My questions for you today are these:
Are you relevant to those around YOU?
on a side note…
Am I alone in feeling not cool enough, experienced enough or hip enough to be culturally relevant?
Dang…you know… As I wrote this I started to feel convicted…Maybe I’m asking the wrong question…. I did a search in the bible.. and I can’t find culturally relevant in there…what if it’s not a pre-requisite (as defined by the bookshelves) to be used by God?
What if Jesus was right after all?
What if it’s not about fitting in and being cool….. but really is about loving people?
“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35
Dear Lord— let me be relevant authentically… help me not to judge the relevance of others or give up on connecting because I feel less than relevant… I love you lord and want desperately to follow YOU.. not some twisted (by myself) idea of relevance… amen…