Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Everyone Wants to Be Fancy

I'm reading Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes to read about God in non-religious terms. This quote stuck with me, maybe because I love the word: fancy...such a great word for so many reasons. But maybe because I relate to the idea. Here it is:

"Everybody wants to be somebody fancy. Even if they're shy.... Everybody wants to be fancy and new. Nobody wants to be themselves. I mean, maybe people want to be themselves, but they want to be different, with different clothes or shorter hair or less fat. It's a fact. If there was a guy who just liked being himself and didn't want to be anybody else, that guy would be the most different guy in the world and everybody would want to be him."

Thoughts welcome.


SandinaJ said...

It's ironic that you are reading this book. I went on a weekend retreat as a sponsor with our church youth group a few months ago. We had a speaker, Jamie something, who wrote the story/t-shirt "To Write Love on Her Arms" (

Anyway, he kept referencing Blue Like Jazz and suggested we all read it. I completely forgot about it until I just read your I really HAVE to read it.

FancyPants said...

San - I checked out So awesome. I can see the influences of the book. The whole movement is right in line with what I'm learning right now, about being the love of Christ to this world. Which is what Blue Like Jazz emphasizes. I definitely think you should read the book. It's a fast easy read.

What church do you go to now? Such a great speaker for a youth group. It seems like your church isn't ignoring the real issues that teenagers (not to mention many, many adults) face.

FancyPants said...

What I wonder:

Is wanting to be different than what we are all that bad? The author doesn't lean one way or the other, just says it's true. But there's nothing wrong with wanting to loose weight, is there? What about wanting a smaller nose? or putting on make up? When is it OK to want to different, and not OK to want to be different?

Maybe the question is why do we want to be different than what we are? Or is there a difference between wanting to be different, and wanting to be better?

kddub said...

I loved this book, and the way he writes.

I do think there's a difference between wanting to be different and wanting to be better. I think it's okay to want to lose weight, etc. yet if that consumes you, and you're focus is continually on changing yourself, I feel that it becomes a self obsession.
I think that God wants us to change, that he's forever working on us and making us new, but His focus is entirely based upon the state of the heart and character.
I feel that the authors point is just that there is no one who is completely conetent with themselves and relaxed into who they are. We are continutally striving to be soemone other than ourselves.

FancyPants said...

I agree, kddub.

...there is no one who is completely content with themselves and relaxed into who they are. We are continutally striving to be someone other than ourselves.

Is this because we envy what others have or who they are? Sometimes, I think. And that's when the wanting to be different is dangerous.

But maybe we're not content with ourselves and continually striving for more...better...different, because we were ultimately created to be different. We were ultimately created in a perfect state, and maybe we're always feeling the desire to get back there.

Age, for example. We fight it. We don't want it. We fight wrinkles. We fight pain. We fight time and death. We don't like it. Because we were first created without it.

Don Miller describes becoming new like magic, only the becoming new that Christ offers isn't just an illusion. It's real magic. God offers us a new start, a new everything.