I don’t know, do you think I have enough swag while I’m doing this?

I’d like to invite you to participate in something I’m calling “a life philosophy observed.” Together we will look at the consequences of living according to the maxim I was recently introduced to on a trip down those quintessential boards-that-border-the-sea. My father referenced this unforgettable theme with great confidence in its largely untapped potential–at least, in my case. (And I must admit, once I heard it, a lot of the mystery that had formerly swaddled his behaviors was stripped away.)

His counsel was: With enough swag, you can get away with anything.

Then he proceeded to demonstrate the indisputable nature of what he said. Resisting the protocol of crossing from the shop he had just exited to the “right” lane of walking traffic, he entered the fray of oncoming pedestrians and coached me in the manner of getting away with such. He took on a bold spirit of adventure, while his body followed suit–adopted a cocky swing. I think he just barely resisted the urge to announce to the crowd around us: “I’m teaching my daughter one of the most valuable lessons she’ll learn in her life. As a man, I feel it is my responsibility to school her in those sensibilities that do not come naturally to her, as she had the misfortune of not being born male. What a pity, right? Anyway, look at her: she’s learning to break the rules like a king!

I must admit, I did more watching his antics than I did practicing his instructions. He was right, confronting the crowd in this manner did insure a path was made for us where previously no path had existed. I just wasn’t so sure I wanted to be a part of the group insisting on this spontaneous creation. In a sense, he certainly knew what he was talking about in such matters but, somehow his authority did not affect a permanent alteration of my normal board-walking. I still like to follow the rules, as a rule. Thus, my life philosophy (which we will not take the time to observe today) became, as of that moment: As for me and my life, we will stick to the side of the boardwalk that welcomes the socially-conscious to exercise their discernment with the promise of esteem and reward and, most desirable of all, safety.

2 thoughts on “I don’t know, do you think I have enough swag while I’m doing this?

  1. Sorry… going to get all spiritual on this post:

    While I’m certainly not the best model for rule-following, I think these are the kinds of lessons best understood in context and conviction. Without a doubt, “getting ahead” in this world can be accomplished with a certain amount of physical swag, as there will always be a majority that equate pomp and noise with authority. Gaining admiration or position through such posturing is pretty much it’s sole reward, for those that are into such things.

    I would much rather exercise an authority offered by set-apart living and a recognition of Christ within. Jesus was far from a mild individual at times, but His authority and position never needed to be demanded; it was appropriated by those that recognized His relation to the Father, same as the boldness noted within Peter and John in Acts 4:13.

    In the same way, there will be days when God leads you from your philosophy of physical safety to a place of recognition, but it will be in mankind identifying His authority within you as opposed to a swag of your own. Based on your general attitude of meekness here, and the magnetic pursuit of humility you exhibit, I’m certain you’ll be fine with that arrangement. So long as you step against the crowd whenever that time comes. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for your comment and encouragement, A.W! I had to read over what you wrote a few times to get a full sense of what you were saying, but I think it was helpful for me to mull it over a bit. I’m still having a difficult time connecting my post with your comment, but I think that’s because I wrote the above post for my weekly Tuesday’s Dose of Humor and Hope. The manner in which I discussed this story was far less serious than you may have received it. Especially at the end, I was hoping my reader would be laughing with me at the conclusion of my spoof. I was definitely exaggerating for effect in places but I think you still caught the truth of how I really do respond to life.

      I certainly come by the desire to distinguish myself according to the rules more easily than I do the desire to flout the rules–even when such codes of conduct only get their strength from human authorities. There are many times that I struggle with the concept of stepping against the crowd, but this is one of those weaknesses in which I see God exhibit His glory in my life the most. He overcomes my self-defenses and propels me into obedience that happens only because He pours more of His heart into mine.

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