I’m Wide Awake
Yes. I am about to talk about a Katy Perry song on a church blog.
Turns out, the blue-haired, candy cane dress-wearin’, “popsicle”-melting pop artist has a spiritual life. And oddly enough (though I know we’ve lived very different lifestyles), I think we can relate to each other’s spirituality, and her newest single “Wide Awake” has really caught my attention. Be sure to check out the video to this song on her homepage. (www.katyperry.com/home)
From what I know about her, she grew up in a Christian home, was mentored by Jennifer Knapp, and played many a coffee house, just her and her guitar and her juvenile churchy lingo. (I think you can actually find a Youtube vid of her playing a coffeehouse at 16 if you look hard enough) It’s funny really, seeing her now living it up in the Pop world, and knowing the roots she came from. It doesn’t seem to make sense at first… but the more I think about this young woman and reflect on my own life as a young woman, the more I realize that she makes complete sense to me.
In college I was a student of ministry and theology and have been fortunate enough to continue my education informally with a small group of adults at church. For the past 2 years we’ve been studying religious history, the formation of scripture, and the history of the church. I absolutely love this learning process and discussing these matters, but it’s not always pretty. At times, I found out truths about the history of my faith that shake up everything I’ve ever known and force me to re-evaluate what I believe about Christian culture, the Bible, and even Jesus. Yes, even the person of Christ is up for discussion. And as a Christian, when you are in the process of re-learning who Christ is, it can change your whole life.
It can be chaotic. I have this visual image of opening a door, stepping accross the threshold into a vast white space full of chattering, wandering people. I can’t go back and shut the door behind me. I must move forward. And I’m looking for Jesus… kind of like a life altering game of “Where’s Waldo.” And Jesus is Waldo. But there’s no guarantee I’ll find him or that I’ll recognize him when I do find him. (I don’t think Jesus’ robe had easliy visable red and white stripes )
But I’m not scared. I may feel a little helpless at times, but I’m at peace. I feel wide awake. I think we all go through shifts like this in our spiritual lives, where a door is opened, we step through, and there’s no turning back. It seems as if Katy has gone through a similar experience, and you can see in the video how she connects with a younger version of herself and they face the present confusion together. I do the same… I look back on who I used to be… a bright blonde, no worries church kid who was on a mission to save the world for Christ at 16. Was I wrong? No. Would I be wrong to return to that version of my self after all I know now? Yes. It’s important to know where we came from and let that be a part of the definition of who we are now, but just like at the end of the video, we have to say goodbye to our old selves to move forward.
Now, the more I look over the lyrics to this song, I think the results of Katy and I’s “awakenings” are different, but our feelings are similar: A spiritual revelation can be a beautiful thing, even if the truths we unveil are not pretty.
It feels like my teenage self, my college self, and even Katie Eckeberger 2011 are a dream… like they weren’t really real, but now I am out of that lucid world and truly understand reality. But the truth is, in time I’ll settle into who I am now, and in some years I’ll have another shift and look back on Katie Eckeberger 2012 and have to laugh a little at all that I didn’t know now.
Have you ever felt this way?
Do you currently feel wide awake, or in the dark?
How many “shifts” have you experienced in your life?