I noticed the guy in the lane next to me was yelling at the car behind him while we were stopped at the red light. I looked in their direction to see what was going on when the guy noticed me looking. He then proceeded to shout at me too. Intrigued, I rolled my window down. Surely this shirtless fellow had something important to say.
“I’m a redneck! I’m from Alabama!” He proudly shouted. I didn’t know whether to laugh or not. He had that “I would hit somebody over an Alabama football game” look in his eye, and I wasn’t sure if this was a joke or if this self-proclaimed redneck was actually looking for a scuffle. The light changed, and our exchange ended as the truck sped off, crossing three lanes of traffic and turning down a road I wasn’t traveling.
There’s something to be said about what someone calls themselves, or people who feel the need to announce something about themselves. I’m always a little wary of any title or description someone self-assigns. I saw a bumper stick once that said “HUMBLE.” Really? Doesn’t that kinda contradict the whole idea?
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you say.” This quote gets me every time, because one of my fears is being disingenuous. For someone to read my blog then experience my life and see incongruity would be utter failure in my mind.
I heard Derek Webb describe the word “Christian” once as we use it in popular culture. He said if it’s used to describe anything other than a person then it’s a marketing term. Words like “Christian” that imply some sort of value always make me skeptical of the one using them.
I guess what I’m getting at, is the older I get the more I want to be shown than told. Who you are is going to speak louder than what you say, anyway. And be careful, especially if someone’s description of themselves could be a manipulation of your trust. At the very least, it might just be an announcement of their insecurity or pain.
So from this humble, Christian, Bama fan—Roll Tide, y’all!