You are cordially invited to My Masquerade.
Who are you? For long you were the only one who knew me. The one who understood everything about me. You knew just the right amount of milk I liked in my cereal and you understood that I did not like to be bugged when my alarm went off. You are the only one I wanted to be around and frankly the only one I thought wanted to be around me. You were at all my hockey games in fact you were my biggest fan. You came to all my practices even when you didn’t want to be there. You were there the days I was sick and the days I was hurt. You never really said much, but I knew you would listen to whatever dumb story I might tell. Something happened though. You started finding new people and abandoning me. You lost site of who I was and everything I had done. At school you were one person, but outside you were completely different. You began wearing a mask for every occasion: church, school, sports and even home. Its like each part of the day was different: you needed to perform, to disguise, to entertain and to protect yourself. I think the hardest part was seeing it happen to you when no one else even knew. It is like you cared so much to be the best, but not to be yourself. You got to a point when it seemed like you had it all. Then each night the moon went down the lights inside turned off and you felt like you accomplished nothing. Sure you weren’t the best at school, but everything else worked well for you. You had nice clothes a pretty girlfriend and more friends then you could count. Your life would make a great TV show, well because you are just the person everyone wants be. You had joy, faith, promise and hope. But then again those were just mask. No one truly knew who you were. Maybe that’s why you liked Batman so much. I mean he did have a really cool mask, that’s kind of something you aspired to have. Mystery was kind of cool to you, but I don’t think you ever imagined it would end like this. This was a tale of hope where the hero also became the villain. But really who are you? Wait; do I even want to know? This answer could destroy me. I could lose the only person I ever cared about. The only one who knew me, my biggest fan. You know what just tell me. Let me have it. HELLO, are you going to tell me? Why aren’t you responding to me? Okay honestly what’s the deal? Come on, I can see you. Take off that mask and answer me. Why did you do it? Why did you leave me? Okay cool you are not going to answer me. Well fine, ill take of the mask for you. Who is the masked man? The answer is ME.
This may come off as repetitive and similar to my pervious post in terms of identity. However I feel this is important and something we need to dig deeper into. In the book of Jeremiah God tells Jeremiah to go down to the potters’ house and he will give him a message. There he sees the potter working at his wheel. At that point he witnesses something, “ But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him”. I take this as a reference because I often feel in times of trouble we begin to worry. You may or may not see it this way, but worries often stray us from reality. The marred jar seems like it has no hope and we do the same in times of conflict. We put on mask and pretend that everything’s great, when in reality we are slowly breaking and at any moment we will shatter. Someone can come up to us and ask us how our day has gone and our immediate response is, not to bad. It changes who we are and what we have become. You see in my story I never mention anything specific being the cause of my change. It is because for so long I masked the very identity I was given in order to be who you wanted me to be. Who my coach wanted me to be. Who my friends wanted me to be. Who my parents wanted me to be. What the world wanted me to be. I often think we lose site of who we were made to be. We are Independent thinkers and creative engineers. You know people of worth. It is actually quite confusing how we have let people shape us so easily. I’ am currently reading a book called The Artisan Soul by Erwin McManus and he describes, “Sometimes the hand of God presses us and creates unwanted discomfort”. I Believe instead of worrying about it we should trust that the creator would finish his masterpieces.
Erwin McManus, briefly talks about artisan bread and what it takes to make such a bread. What makes artisan bread uniquely different from factory made bread is that no piece will ever look the same. I feel like often we resort to all being made from a factory. None quite different from each other except for our expiration date. God made each and every one us to be different. Used for different purposes and to ultimately be our selves and nothing else. Just like artisan bread you were made in such a way to never look the same or be what society tells you to be.
Just like the clay jar will become marred, you to will face times of discomfort and probably be unsure of the finished product, but I firmly believe that you will do amazing things and you were made for a purpose even through those weird awkward times. This may seem out of context, but it’s a revelation that sparked in my heart through reading. Here God is talking to Israel, noting that he has the authority and power to create, as he must. I think that makes sense and ultimately its how life works. We cannot control the bumps, but we can control how we react. If we worry, we hurt. If we don’t allow these worthless worries to burden us we see the good.
I guess the reason I feel so strongly about this is because I too needed to realize I have been made to not just dream, but be active. Not to worry about small cracks on the outside. I was made for so much more. Its possible the very reason we wear these mask is because we allow other to dream for us. Maybe schools not really your thing, but it is your parents. The activities we do begin to shape us and when we become a bit marred we put on a mask and act like it never happened. We lose a little of our self each day. I believe we need to hurt. Yeah it sucks, but it produces something that makes it feel all that much greater in the end.
Erwin McManus said, “ To pursue a dream, is to invite a nightmare”. When we dream we forget that there will be bumps and bruises. We try to avoid the hurt, so our dreams are hidden. This day in age it seems like at birth we are given a sleep therapy mask, which we never take off. So our dreams never become a reality. Maybe its time you take off your mask.
My Masquerade has been cancelled.
*inspired by The Artisan Soul
A Man Chasing His Dreams