Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

12 November 2008

Bouncing into Graceland

My latest book from my peeps at Zondervan, is Cathleen Falsani's "Sin Boldly"... a field guide for Grace. I read my first chunk today over a burger and fries. The first chapter is the story of Cathleen and her friend "Bubba" making good on their 25 year promise see Graceland. What better place to learn about Grace... than Graceland.

Two lines stuck out...

"Bubba makes me laugh harder than anyone I know. One of my favorite definitions of laughter comes from modern Christian rebel/apologist Anne Lamont who describes it as "carbonated holiness." I like to think of laughter as grace in it's gaseous form. It's the kind of grace that can lift you out of a funk and lighten a heavy spirit. It's sort of like the scene in Mary Poppins where Bert and Uncle Albert are laughing so hard that they start to levitate, literally floating to the ceiling. Sometimes all it takes to turn a dark mood on its ear is to hear Bubba's goofy drawl on the other end of the phone saying, "Hiya Toots! What's shakin'?"

... and after seeing first hand both of Elvis's worlds (the lavish extravagances and his deep rooted faith)

"Once you let Jesus into your kitchen, he just keeps on making peanut butter and banana sandwiches, and he never leaves."

The chapter is called "Bouncing into Graceland", which I'm assuming is an allusion to Paul Simon's "Graceland" where he writes...

There is a girl in New York City
Who calls herself the human trampoline.
And sometimes when I'm falling flying
Or tumbling in turmoil I say
Whoa so this is what she means
She means we're bouncing into Graceland

I've been in and out of a funk for a few weeks. I'm actually a bit of a human trampoline myself. Try as I may not to... "Private Dave" gets pretty up and equally as down. A former pastor of mine used to encourage us to be a "Steady Eddie". I'd Amen along with everyone at the time... but in retrospect... I don't do steady eddie very well. It doesn't even feel right to try. How do I life a life of passion... and stay in the middle?

In fact, I think Life is ANYTHING but a steady sail! I'm not saying that we should be "tossed around by winds of doctrine" but we have no choice but to rock and roll along with the boat. See there's a storm a blowin' and I'm in a dang boat!

Graceland is interesting. I have zero desire to go there... but I GET (somewhat) why people might. Elvis is a tragic figure. And in the end, I'm not sure he found the way to justify his own human frailty and his heart's cry to interact with the holy. It drove him peanut butter and bananas. As it does me. I'm impatient, whiny, ornery, selfish, stubborn, rude... and yet I want DESPERATELY to be closer than close with my spiritual groom who is wooing me to a place of freedom.

Try as I might... I'll never be Holy. In fact in years of trying, I've discovered a boundary that I've placed between me and God by thinking I can do it myself. Because I CAN'T be good without embracing grace and wearing it around your neck... it can't be done. Without our "Grace" tattoo, we're bouncing on the trampoline half guilty that we're not moving horizontally, and half hoping that next time we go up... we'll never come down.

I don't want to be "steady"... I want to press on and enjoy my bouncing.


Beth Murphy said...

Great post, Dave. Thanks for blogging about Sin Boldly.

For a limited time, you can download the complete Sin Boldly audio for free: http://www.zondervan.com/Cultures/en-US/Product/Book/Sin+Boldly+Free+Download.htm?QueryStringSite=Zondervan

Beth Murphy

Dave Carrol said...

Thanks Beth.

Long live the Zondervanian empire


lyn's lyrics and lifenotes said...

I see a Steady Eddie somewhat differently – not as someone staying in the middle, lacking passion, but rather someone who keeps the faith and STAYS steadily passionate even when life blindsides them and stuff doesn’t make sense…not bouncing all over in their faith....not jumping ship, as too many do when the going gets rough. I think you’re a Steady Eddie with that description. But yah, for sure, life can be a trampoline.

Dave Carrol said...

Yeah you're right Lynn... I know that was the intent of the "steady eddie" thing too.

And yes it's true that THAT is so important. I guess there's a part of me that considers that part to be given at this point. It's unfortunate that it's not for some, but sometimes when I'm standing in the presence of overwhelming God or realizing how God's just used me... I think about just God uses mess's of people.

and i think it used to make me feel somewhat guilty and almost like, "I better clean up my act before someone finds out I'm a fraud"... but that's the thing. None of us are "worthy" per say. None of us are "right" on our own account... and as a friend mine said the other day to me...

"the stronger I get... the weaker I feel".

And all of a sudden all the THINGS that I thought I had to do to earn "street cred" in the kingdom of God seem so piddly... when all God wants us raw us to hang with and mold.

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