Monday, April 10, 2017

It's YOUR Experience...Not Mine

Okay, quiz time.  Let's see how many of you can answer these questions correctly...without Google!  The answers will be at the end of this post.
  1. Who is Miranda Sanchez?
  2. What Digimon evolves into Greymon?
  3. What band has had hit songs such as "The Real Sin Savior," "Smooth Grandmama," and "Narrow Way to Heaven"?
  4. Which sitcom character had, "I'm not at liberty to say!", as a repeated line throughout one episode?
  5. What was Mindy's last name on Mork & Mindy?
  6. What impromptu song did a character sing on the first episode of Complete Savages?
  7. Which celebrity incorrectly answered the question, "How do you say 'hello' in French?", with, "Oui, oui" on an episode of Weakest Link?
  8. Which Disney Channel actress has the same name as a character on the DCOM Cadet Kelly?
  9. Whose perspective is the Star Wars novel I, Jedi told from?
  10. Who is always the last secret character you unlock on Super Smash Bros. Melee?
How many of those could you even guess? Maybe, if you're of my generation or a fan of Christian music, you knew one or two...but, many of those are about entertainment entities of which you probably haven't even heard.  However, not only are those ones I've enjoyed over the years, but, at one point or another, I considered them my favorites.

What's the point here? Simple: It seems to me that, both inside and outside the realm of entertainment, I have different experiences than most.  Sure, some people may have gone through something like I have at some point; I may not be the only person you know who has a "condition" such as mine, or who grew up with a disabled sibling, or who was raised without a father.  Still, my experiences are largely unique among the people I know, which is why people have always had trouble understanding me.

Case in point: In a recent Bible class at my church, we were studying from the book of 1 Samuel, where the nation of Israel tells their leader/judge Samuel, "You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have." (NIV) Samuel is hesitant to do this, so, he tells them this:
This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day. (NIV)
The people of Israel are still undeterred; they reply with, "No! We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles." (NIV) So, Samuel anoints Saul as king...and he blows it, big time.

If you were there for the lesson, or have seen the video lessons from The Story, you may know that Israel at this point was likened to kids in middle school: they just wanted to have what everyone else seemed to have so that they could fit in.  However, that was largely not my experience during those years of my life.  At first, I was into Pokémon, like the other guys in my class were...but, by the time my sixth grade year was up, it became uncool to everyone in the class, save for me and my best friend.  I still continued to be into it, even into seventh and eighth grade, and off and on over the years since...including today.  When I got in seventh grade, I considered myself an outsider; I was unhappy with the behavior of my peers, and not just at school; my sister had to practically force me to hang out with the middle schoolers at my church.  Instead of doing what my peers--any of them, really--wanted to do, I wanted to be the exact opposite; they way they talked, joked, acted, treated me, etc., made everything they did--even their name-brand clothes--seem unattractive.  True, I did have some clothes I was proud of, but that was because they had my favorite entertainment entities or cute sayings on them, not because of how much they cost.  That trend continued into eighth grade; I was all about things that hardly anyone else in my grade cared about one bit.

So, it seems to me that all of these common experiences that people--of my generation or otherwise--have are simply foreign to me...and vice versa.  I know that there's a way I could use my unique experiences to help people...but, I just wish I could figure out who and where.  I guess, in the meantime, I'll just do what I can with what I've got. 

Okay, now for the answers:
  1. One of Lizzie McGuire's best friends.
  2. Agumon.
  3. ApologetiX, aka "That Christian Parody Band".
  4. Wilson from Home Improvement.
  5. McConnell.
  6. "Aprons for Christmas".
  7. Booker T., the wrestler.
  8. Jennifer Stone.
  9. Corran Horn.
  10. Mr. Game & Watch. 

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