Posted tagged ‘cool’

Doing The Woah

April 30, 2019

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                    April 30, 2019

 

They ask me to do it!

And do it again…and again!

There is something amusing to middle school students about convincing a senior citizen to do “The Woah. It’s a new thing, kinda’ like the fidget spinner was a new thing two years ago, and dabbing was a new thing a little bit before that. In regards to dance moves there’s been the Harlem Shake, the Mannequin, and “the floss”.

“The Woah” is about a quick moving of a dancer’s fists and then freezing the movement. It derived in Texas for some reason! Evidently, safer than cow-tipping!

Everyday I have middle school students asking me to do the Woah. Their favorite has become the “Woah” where I’m thrown an imaginary ball and make an imaginary catch. The “act” causes uncontrollable laughter from the adolescents, reminiscent of adults chuckling over the cute things one year olds do. Yes, sad isn’t it? I’m back to being ridiculously cute like a one year old!

There’s kids doing adult things and then there’s adults doing kids things! I’ve always been a kid at heart, but am now elderly in my ankles, knees, hips, and lower back.

So I do a little woahing! It’s cheap! No accessories or batteries to buy, or brand name to fashion. Just a simple movement of the hands!

Kids like my Moondance, also, although that is getting a little more difficult for my hips and knees to execute.

Yesterday an 8th Grade girl said to me, “Mr. Wolfe, you’re cool!” I thanked her and then retrieved my lunch from the refrigerator for the day, a plastic container of cottage cheese and cucumbers. The illusion of coolness quickly disappeared as she began gagging over my choice of cuisine. Cottage cheese to 8th Grade girls is cool in temperature only, and to be avoided like facial blemishes and bad hair days.

Perhaps the Woah will disappear as quickly as my residency in the land of “being with it!’ I’ll probably never know…and I’m okay with that!

Getting Too Cozy With God

June 4, 2013

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                      June 4, 2013

Working on the staff of Young Life when I was in seminary, and then also being the Youth Minister at a couple of churches, I was trained to “earn the right to be heard’ by the students I worked with. Youth ministry was, and still is, very relational. A young guy struggling with questions about faith needs to know that there is someone he can meet at Starbucks for a chai latte and conversational counseling.

I confess! In those days there was a need to look cool and be cool. It was a part of earning the right to converse about God. Now in my final year of the fifties “cool” is a term I only use to indicate the last of heat in the house. We have more blankets folded and ready on our couch than Bed, bath, and Beyond has in the entire store. “Overheated” for our household now refers to laying on top of the electric blanket.

It seems that the emphasis with most evangelicals, myself included, is on having a personal relationship with our heavenly father who has his son be crucified on the cross out of love for us.

There is nothing incorrect about that. It’s scripturally right on. John 3:16 makes that intimately clear. The struggle is that we so often make the mystery of the holy absent from our faith. We like to snuggle up with God, like a comforter blanket. God-cozy is more to our liking than divine mystery.

One of my friends recently said that the only place we see veils anymore is on Arab women to hide their faces, and on surgeons to protect them from our germs. Veils hide, and we are people who are used to the Freedom of Information Act. We are accustomed to full disclosure.

Scripture includes a number of verses that tell us about the mystery being revealed…and the mystery that is. Paul talked about “the mystery made known to me by revelation” (Ephesians 3:3) and “the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints.” (Colossians 1:26)

But he also talked about the mystery of Christ (Ephesians 3:4, Colossians 4:3)!

The contrast of the gospel is that we can now approach the throne of grace with confidence (Hebrews 4:16), but the will not ever in this lifetime understand the ways of God. Revelation is partnered with mystery. The veil was torn away from the Holy of Holies, and yet are eyes do not fully see the moving of God.

And we shouldn’t! Mystery is what keeps drama in the story. If life was void of mystery our little ones would no longer ask the question “why?” Why questions lead them along the path of discovery.

Why do we have two ears and one nose?

I don’t know. Perhaps it has something to do with Mr. Potato Head. He would look weird with two noses and only one ear.

Why are some people scared of spiders?

Because they are…including me.

Why do women put make-up on, but men just put on deodorant?

Because men are in a hurry in the morning, and women…never mind, don’t tell Mommy I said anything about that!

Why does bacon taste so good?

Ahhhh….

The longer I walk with God the more comfortable I am with the Mystery. I also have a sense of peace knowing that I am always able to cry out to him, and he will embrace me. Perhaps that’s “cozy’, but I see it as evidence of the God who comes near.

Taking A Page From Abercrombie and Fitch

May 10, 2013

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                     May 10, 2013

The CEO of the clothing chain, Abercrombie and Fitch, recently reiterated his business plan focus that A&F is for the hot and attractive young people. They don’t want larger sized people to wear their clothes, or be customers in their stores.

Cool, obviously, is everything!

CEO Mike Jeffries made this statement: “In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong in our clothes, and they can’t belong.”

This is not a new position for A&F. Those words were said by Jeffries in a 2006 interview. The troubling thing is that even though we are irked by the arrogance, we go along with the philosophy. How can I say that? A&F is a 5 billion dollar company. The younger crowd drops money there like crazy! Teens and twentysomethings and “wanna-be twentysomethings” have bought into the idea that wearing A&F is an element of creating an image.

The arrogance of A&F is that they define what the image is, and expect the customer base to, pardon the pun, “fit into it.” Some of that arrogance has come out in several discrimination court cases involving minorities, the dismissal of an employee who wore a prosthetic forearm because she was told that her appearance breached the store’s “Look policy”, and the dismissal of a Muslim woman who refused to remove her head scarf.

And yet people… the right people…continue to shop at the store like it is selling Beatle’s memorabilia…oops, wrong generation!

The concern I have is that I see some of that filtering into the church. I really do! Not that we should be surprised. The Corinthian church could have put an A&F logo out front, except using Greek letters. There was that little problem that had with consuming all the food and wine before everyone had arrived for the Agape Feast, the love meal. Knowing the culture, those who arrived early for the agape meal was mostly those who were more financially stable. The people who arrived later were mostly the ones who had to work long hours just to survive.

Can you say cool and not-cool?

Paul’s stress to the church at Corinth about being “the body of Christ” had immense relevance to what was going on there.

I know…I know, we usually talk about the church being twenty years behind the times. The point, however, is not whether we are behind the times or ahead of the masses. It is that the church is the one institution, the one organization, that it not to be exclusionary. It is the group that discards the labels that the rest of our culture slaps on us. The book of James cautions about discriminating between rich and poor in the seating arrangements. Jesus used sharp words towards his disciples who were trying to keep children from bothering him. The first century church reorganized in order to take care of the widows.

And yet there still seems to be a part of us that wants our church to be populated with the cool people. It’s the dirty little secret that testifies to our fallen nature.

The church should have a sign that says “A&O”, the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, because the arms of Jesus are intended to cover everyone in between.