When the ‘cool’ walk into a room, they enter with the stride of impregnable certainty. The cool are quite literally cool-to or unmoved by the insecurities which threaten the uncool. They are seem to be above the human condition and this is their appeal and power.
But I am told that behind the facade is the same fearful, doubtful creature which I am so familiar with in myself. This creature is susceptible to all the agonies and awkwardness which comes along with being human. They are no less a being of flesh and blood, of ego and id, than the mere mortals among whom they walk.
Coolness has its origin and appeal in its pretense at escape. Developmentally, the existence of coolness is a response to our flesh and blood reality. Coolness is a response to fear, not simply its absence. This means that the cool are not a different species, but truly of our kind. They have simply adapted a special coping mechanism–a mechanism of pretense.
This pretense is effectual to a degree, but it comes at a cost. The cost is spelled out in the very name. To be cool is to become cool: cool to one’s friends, one’s family, cool to one’s passions, cool to all the ups and downs of human existence, to life itself.
Faith takes a different course. Unlike the ‘cool’ which deflects, faith inhabits.
Because life includes pain, embarrassment, fear, loneliness and risk, the cool close themselves off to the possibility of being affected. Coolness is a means of control.
Because life includes pain, embarrassment, fear, loneliness, and risk, but also joy, connection, pleasure, and peace, faith opens itself up to it all. Faith is a means of freedom. It can do this because it has roots in the unshakable love and promise of God.
One of the great gifts of faith is then the freedom to be shaken.
Like trees in the wind, we stir with all the motions of the spirit, and with each graceful and terrible movement, we display how deep our roots go. Rooted and grounded in one who holds us in an unshakable grasp.