where do we go from here?
August 20, 2009, 8:01 pm
Filed under: Stuff | Tags: , , , , ,

when i got back from alaska, the world had changed in my absence. i know that’s not true. i know i had been the one to change, but it felt easier to blame the world for turning it’s back on me rather than admit i had turned my back on it.

i’ll never forget the scene walking into the terminal when i flew into regina. about 25 friends and family were waiting and i can still hear the burst of laughter and joy as they saw me coming towards them. i like to think they were that happy to see me, but the reality is they were mocking my beard. 2 months in the bush without a razor will do that to you. i had forgotten much of the way the world worked. but it didn’t take long to readjust to the rat race. i greeted everyone and got in my 86′ hatchback corolla for the drive to dauphin (to drop off my dad who had come to visit me the last week in alaska), and then to winnipeg (to hug my girlfriend). i don’t know if it was two days without sleep or the pollution filled air, but something changed in those first couple days back. i felt lost. i felt like i had become this whole new person that nobody knew, and now they expected me to be that guy again. but i wasn’t. and so i had a choice. i could change their view of who blair roberts was and introduce the new me. someone who didn’t live a life of worry. someone who didn’t want any part of the rat race of our society. someone who saw beauty in simplicity. someone who had seen God in a couple months and wasn’t the same because of it. that was the new me. or…i could go back to being that guy they knew. and so i went back. because it was easier. it’s like climbing up a mountain. you have the best of intentions. you may even make it a pretty far up. and you get to that halfway point where if you go any further, you know it’s going to get harder. so you can either move up and fight. or you can go back the way you came. and it’s easier to walk downhill than up. and so i walked down. because to move forward would have been too hard. 

i moved to regina soon after and roomed with my big brother. i tried really hard to keep that worshipful and Christ-centered attitude I had found in alaska, but i couldn’t find it. i lost it and fell into a spiral. life quickly lost it’s lustre and every day became a chore. i came back wealthy, with almost $10, 000 in my pocket, but after about 3 months, was on my last gasp. new music equipment, a sweet dvd collection, and daily trips to BREWSTERS were my undoing (curses on you al pacino for your brilliant acting and BREWSTERS for your insane banana caramel xango cheescake!). i dropped out of college. i had an incident with a teacher who thought i had cheated. i hadn’t, at least not in my opinion. i got angry and quit. i didn’t have to. all they wanted was to have a discussion about it. but i was looking for a reason to leave, so i took it. i had paid for a semester of college and got no refund. i was broke. stuck. living a lifestyle that was destroying me. my only joy was seeing melissa, but i was even not treating her the way she deserved. there was something that was happening inside on me that i couldn’t put my finger on that was causing me to slowly take any little bit of strength i had and stomp on it until it was broken. i’m amazed melissa didn’t give up on me. i’m amazed and eternally grateful she fought through it with me. but to this day, i couldn’t figure out why this had happened to me. why had i gone through this spiritual high only to come crashing down so hard? 

i was at clearview camp this past week for high school week, and one of our late night camp fire chats was about how hard it is to follow God sometimes. chelsey (my brothers wife) talked about how hard that time in my life was for her and how mad she was at me. that shocked me. i had hardly known her at the time. she was just becoming a christian when i got home from alaska. and she had heard me speak during a quick devo at one of our concerts the week i got back from alaska. that’s right, i was in a band. google it. she said it was a weird moment for her because she thought we were cool, and she didn’t think you could be cool and be a christian, because christians were nerds (i think her first instinct was probably more accurate). and 2 months later, she watched me falling far away from Christ. and in that moment it was like a lightbulb went off in my head. selfish. i would never have known my actions at that time had affected chelsey in this way. someone who i hardly knew at the time. and so if my actions had impacted her in this way, how had they impacted the people that loved me most? how hard was it for them to watch me fall and struggle and not listen to them? the only focus in my life was me. i came back and got wrapped up in myself. it was all about what i could get from other people. it was all about what i could get for myself. selfish. i realize now that i didn’t really care about many people back then. my only concern was my state of mind. 

i’ve been thinking a lot about selfishness since this conversation. how many of our problems in the world could be solved if people could only see they were being selfish? would we need to debate the pros and cons of universal healthcare if we acknowledged the real reason we are scared of it is because we are worried about how it might affect us? if we realized that fear was rooted in selfishness, i think that fear would go away as the foolishness it is and we would see the value of supplying healthcare to those who need it. would we have teenagers who cut themselves (usually as a last resort to remind themselves they are alive) if we had a society that cared about their youth the way they care about their 401k’s and retirement packages? maybe our children should be more important than work, and they should know they are loved more than anything else in the whole world. i can’t believe i just made that idea up. i am so brilliant…and also guilty of putting work before my kids. would we have conversations about how annoying those people on the streets that beg for money are if we took a moment to see their value rather than assuming they have none? instead of assuming they’ll just buy booze, maybe taking time to talk to them could give them some dignity and tear the blinders off our eyes. would we need to go to war over natural resources if we were willing to ration and share what we have? would we need to fight our way through life striving to attain some outlandish goal of wealth and prosperity if we realized that happiness is found all around us and not in who has the most toys? selfishness eats away at us. it’s a disease, and our individualistic society does nothing but perpetuate this never ending cycle of destruction. 

when that lightbulb went off, and i realized that selfishness is the reason i fell so fast when i came home, i thought about what’s happened since then. i look at my life and realize i have been very lucky. things have fallen into place easily for me. great wife, great kids, great job. i’ve had a few moments where selfishness hasn’t controlled me. but for the most part, i still feel just as trapped as i did back then. i still feel as if i’m not getting enough of it, whatever “it” might be. i’m still scared. i’m scared that i won’t matter. that i won’t be recognized. that i won’t be happy. and so i live most days in order to please myself, so i can convince the world that i matter. but i’m tired. and i want to stop thinking about myself for a while. and so i wonder where i go from here, now that this lightbulb has come on. and it seems right to say i need to move forward living an unselfish life. but i don’t want to. cause it’ll be like climbing that mountain all over again, only this time it’s higher, because i’m starting at the bottom. so i’m going to try. and i’m going to ask that if any of you see me turning around to take the easy way out, that you stop me. i’m tired of starting over.


3 Comments so far
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me too, i’m tired of you always failing me as a christian.

cough. is that too inappropriate for people who don’t know how we bug each other? oh well, i’m leaving it.

anyway, yeah, you know i’m in the same boat. i swear if we could quit being so selfish we could maybe not be sinners anymore. i keep amazing myself with how selfish i can be, all the while convincing myself that i’m not being selfish. believing that i deserve something. once that lightbulb goes on, i realize how stupid “it” all seemed and am so mad at myself for falling for it.

i’m reading this book right now called too small to ignore by wess stafford (i think!). it’s all about children and how they shouldn’t be undervalued or ignored. maybe you should check it out.

Comment by chelsey

Son of mine, that you for being so real, for always being so honest, for always telling the truth, you have more courage then I will ever have. I love you and I will be there helping you up the mountain any time, anywhere, cuz I love you beyond words. And I get stuck there too, so when I do, push me up and help me keep going as well. I love you Blair! Mom

Comment by LaVonne

Son of mine, thank you for being so real, for always being so honest, for always telling the truth, you have more courage then I will ever have. I love you and I will be there helping you up the mountain any time, anywhere, cuz I love you beyond words. And I get stuck there too, so when I do, push me up and help me keep going as well. I love you Blair! Mom

Comment by LaVonne

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