7.18.2006

Preoccupied

A couple days ago, I stumbled on a blog post that shook me up quite a bit. In a few short lines, I got a glimpse my perceived character...and it wasn't good. The following is a direct quote from one of my Bradley classmates:
I don't know how Jake Bland does it. He is a definite wunderkind in the Multimedia Program...he seems to do everything but at the same time he always seems calm, unstressed, and collected...I just don't get it. Maybe he doesn't put as much work into classes or something.

I always think he'd make a cool friend, but interaction is always...forced, at best. It's weird. He just doesn't seem all that interested in getting to know me or something. I've found that true, though, with a lot of the "good" Christian kiddies around campus--the ones who are super involved with stuff like Cru and IV. Then again, Jarrod isn't all that involved with either of those (though he is in STE) and I haven't really succeeded in becoming friends with him, either.

This is significant because it is everything I strive NOT to be. I never wanted to be one of those "good Christian kiddes around campus" ... the ones who (1) talk a lot about Jesus, and (2) do things for Jesus, but never actually spend any real time loving people or building relationships.

In fact, I want to be just the opposite.

For the past couple years, I've tried to refocus my life and ministry around building meaningful relationships with people. I'm getting much better, but it's evident here that I have a long way to go. I'm striving to live an authentic Christian life, which at it's core means that I must (1) love God with everything I have and (2) love people - openly, honestly, genuinely, without restraint, unconditionally, announcing my own struggles and faults.

Here is one such announcement of failure.

I've written a personal apology to this person, but I wanted to announce this publicly as well. I never intended to be "forced" in our interactions, and I was truly interested in getting to know him. He's right though. I didn't take time. I was preoccupied. I left the relationship at the surface ...

Trying harder today.

JB

10 comments:

Eric T. said...

hey jake... what's with the picture?

i have a few thoughts... and maybe i missed it, but why did you choose that to post here?

jdb said...

The picture is the best that google image search could do ... it's a cartoon of someone being preoccupied.

As for the second question, I'm not sure what you're asking me ...

John Bussone said...

Jake,

thanks for looking inward and not getting defensive; we need outside looks to help grow inward. I wonder what would happen if all read posts about how people perceived us....or better what if our Father posted????

Courtney C said...

Jake, I think your response to this realization speaks to the fact that you ARE striving to be authentic. As John said, it would be very easy to respond defensively in this situation, but instead you are choosing to use this classmates' perception to motivate you as you continue evolve. In addition, I would assume that you posted this on your blog to seek accountability from your Christian community. That will also help you evolve into who God is making you to be. Those are both critical elements of living an authentic Christian life. Don't forget to count your strengths as well as your weaknesses. :-)

ckd said...

I'll talk to you more latter...

But, a good friend in ministry taught me once that:

"things are almost never as bad as they seem, and they are almost never as good as them seem."

I think the same is true about stuff like this...we need to be very careful about allowing ourselves to be sidetracked too much by someone with a burr in their saddle.

Welcome to leadership...there will always be someone that has an axe to grind with you, and while I'm not suggesting that we blow people off, I think we need to weigh it carefully against everything else we know.

So, I for one, will say...
YOU'RE NOT THAT GUY!

Chris said...

I second what Charlie says...

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Charlie also. Because you are in such visible situations most of the time, people feel like they know you better than you know them. They feel like they are your friend and you might not even know them.
Also, of course we need to be kind to everyone and care for them, but you cannot possilbly have a best friend relationship with everyone you meet. Our lives only have room for a certain amount of those.

swishthedish said...

Jake I've said it before and I'll say it again, you're the best representative of Jesus Christ we have at Bradley. Nobody's perfect.

Sorry I didn't get to see you before you left.

Anonymous said...

I am very suprised by the person's comments. Although I do not know you as well as others, I feel you are ALWAYS there for others, not fake, welcoming, kind, ect ect. I would have to disagree that it "forced." I am a pretty good judge of character, and I feel that your intentions are sincere and honest. I also agree that people DO feel like that know you only by seeing you a few times, but it is hard to be close to everyone. So for your sake, do not try to spread yourself too thin. Your an amazing role model! Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

you have been a part of many people's lives that you hardly know, just by being who you are and where you have been. of course, they feel like they know you...but how could you have a relationship with all of them?
keep doing what you're doing!!!!!

Right now