Naps, iPods, and Self-examination . . . OH MY!

by Jonathan Awtrey

I’ve never been farther west from Dallas than today. My day was spent reflecting on two very specific topics: my coming out anniversary and the rest of the ride.

April 1 marks the two-year anniversary of my coming out. I define my official coming out as the day I came out to my parents. Have you put two and two together yet? That’s right, I came out to my parents on April Fools Day. It should be noted that this was probably not my shining moment, but the opportunity presented itself and I couldn’t let the moment pass.

The question most people pose here is, "Did your parents think it was a practical joke?" I believe that the question should be, "What kind of opportunity could you not pass up in order to come out to your parents?"

My mother had just told me about my aunt’s pastor, and how at their church, a unique "mission field" had just opened up. See, the pastor and his wife had just shared with their congregation that when they were younger they had an abortion. The congregation had two options: to dismiss the pastor and his wife and their call to that church or show just how much God loves everyone, forgives, and widens his circle of followers every chance He gets. They chose the later, and because of that choice, the church opened up a new ministry to single mothers/expecting mothers/single expecting mothers/young women/ young expecting women/ young single expecting mothers/….well you get the idea…

So I took this chance. "Well, Mom, I too have a unique ministry that I feel every church is lacking. I am gay, and Christian."

That’s how I came out to my parents…well my mom. Coming out to my dad ended with me saying, "…Hallmark just doesn’t make a card for this kind of thing."

This brings me to my second reflecting point: why I was on the Ride and just how much of it was left.

In one month, we will all be saying goodbye– goodbye to this family we have created, and goodbye to this part of our call to seek justice. The Ride will be over, and we’ll all go back to our lives, dispersed across this great nation; but we will still have that call (A call which some of us would really like to see in yet another Ride…). So what becomes of what we’ve done? Have we done anything at all? Did we actually make an impact?

I’m sure most people would say, if not shout, "YES!"

Here’s where I’ll be honest. Being on the Ride, I feel, has shielded me from the differences we’re making. Sometimes I feel, "If it weren’t us doing it, someone else would; the difference would be made anyway." (Here’s where the iPod segment comes in…) Then a song started playing– one that made me realize that time we have together on this Ride is short, and the difference we make might not be known to us for some time. And by the time we do realize we’ve made an impact, we might all be long gone (But I really hope that’s not the case).


Michael Tolcher – "Kings In Castles"

[Verse 1]
People said it would go so fast
Before you know it you’ll be here
Living life innocent just don’t last
It gets harder every year

See yourself in a place beyond today
Yeah the future can be scary
Just be wise to the games you play
Don’t let your spirit get heavy

By the end, we’ll be making history
We’ll be writing fairy tails
We’ll be stars in movies
By the end, we’ll be raising families
Living off of memories
We’ll be kings in castles
By the end

[Verse 2]
Having fun was the only rule (It’s all about the fun)
Yeah, there was nothing in the way
Being left out or being uncool (Won’t catch me)
Was the hardest game to play
People said very soon your games would end
If you grow up like you should
Because in this life you have to fend
For yourself like no one else would


[Verse 3]
We’ll be the heroes
Oh, say can you see those bright, shining stars
Can you see those bright shining stars?

We’ll be making history
We’ll be writing fairy tails
We’ll be stars in movies
By the end, we’ll be raising families
Living off of memories
We’ll be kings in castles
By the end