When ‘being’ becomes ‘appearing to be’

th-2“For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to be a white horse.”

The story of the dark horse begins with a horse longing to be white. White represents purity, splendor, righteousness. It’s what we all long to be. It’s an image to look up to. It’s also all about having an effect on others – making a difference with your life.

To some degree or another, we all want this. We long to make a difference, but making a difference requires us to be different, and therein lies the rub. We are not sure we can pull this off.

So we surround ourselves with whiteness. We hold up white horses as examples to us all. We focus on everything white. We send our foals to whited horse school. We go to meetings about being white, we buy books about it, we choose leaders who are whiter than we are and we glory in one day being like them. We put up reminders about being white all around us, and inspire ourselves with incredible stories of those who have, through great difficulty, become white.

So the dark horse who longs to be white devotes its whole life to trying to “be” white, which, because it is not all white, turns into a false and frustrating task of trying to “appear” white.

When do our efforts at “being” turn into efforts at “appearing?” When we realize that we aren’t what we are trying to be. It’s a subtle but dangerous shift that happens to anyone who genuinely wants to better themselves or make a difference with their life. It’s a shift from a focus on being to a focus on appearing made necessary by the fact that not one of us is all white. It happens to all Christians at some point, and the underlying tragedy in all of this is the falseness it engenders.

In longing for the right thing, we become wrong. The temptation is always to present a false image of ourselves, and since the false image is actually good – it represents all that is good and true and right – we assume the goodness will compensate for its falseness. It doesn’t. It never does.

Here at the Catch, we are committed to being, not appearing to be. Being like Christ is a true and proper goal, but not at the expense of being who we are. Honesty is a much higher value than anything white. In fact, whiteness is not anything we can create or control. What we are trying to be is not up to us, and herein lies our freedom.

Being and following is all that is required.

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7 Responses to When ‘being’ becomes ‘appearing to be’

  1. Mark Seguin says:

    Man, Pastor John I have to tell u if I was born an African-American I would have seriously considered stopped reading today’s Catch after the first couple of sentences. (Plz, pretty plz consider reading this after being born a Black man, or person) “For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to be a white horse.” The story of the dark horse begins with a horse longing to be white. White represents purity, splendor, righteousness. It’s what we all long to be.”

    I’ll add I NEVER ever, ever wanted to be a white horse – but longed to be the black stallion in the book I once read in my childhood! Which I believed was called The Black Stallion and on the cover was a great pic of a black horse running & jumping over a fence.

    My God plz, plz pretty plz think, or maybe consider other people of different colors, races and nationalizes, is my suggestion.
    PS and if u chose to use as your defense this is from a story let me plz have u to consider stating that maybe a bit more than once, yet a few times might be better – becauz as it stands – i can too easily find offense in today’s Catch… 🙂

  2. I’m sorry John – I agree with Mark on this one. I know you didn’t mean white as a race or as an ethnicity, but today’s Catch just came across as strange to me.

    • Mark Seguin says:

      Thx 4 your comments Xavier de la Torre, yet 4 a few reasons I do believe/think our comments may or will go ignored – I’ve have tried to explain if he continues to do that – ignored his readers comments, that they took time out of their day to share, yet he finds it hard to find the time to respond and then he still goes a-head and ask for their financial support, which I find a bit dumbfounding… 🙂
      PS kind of similar to: “Jesus could have been a communist” statement once posted on a Catch and then after 4 or 5 readers post about their confusion regarding it – all we get is, more or less he wouldn’t have wrote any thing differently – that is filled w/ sooo much people skills! This surely isn’t a good thing especially because this one Catch, he highly recommended instead of going to a Bible study, read Dale C’s very good book of “How to Win Friends…” Yet seemly has a bit of trouble applying it – in my humble opinion.

      • I’m sure the whiteness being referred to isn’t a racial thing, Mark. All the same it isn’t the kind of symbolism I would use to get my ideas across. Different strokes…

      • Mark S. says:

        Believe/think I understand your point Xavier…and 2nd what u wrote: “All the same it isn’t the kind of symbolism I would use to get my ideas across.”
        PS I’ll add to my point above one DOESN’T find time to do anything! Firmly think/believe has I have read from many successful people – One makes the time to do things – Not try & find that time.

    • jwfisch says:

      It’s interesting that this book has been published numerous times in various forms since 1982, and this is the first time I have heard any reference to racial issues in this story. Of course the whole point is: “White isn’t what you look like, it’s what you do when you follow the will of the White One.”

      • Mark Seguin says:

        Again i’ll request to consider reading the first couple of sentences in the Catch or here I’ll jus quote myself: “(Plz, pretty plz consider reading this after being born a Black man, or person)”

        PS and OMG i don’t or really couldn’t care what year this was published and if this is the first time or to quote u: “…I have heard any reference to racial issues in this story.” Again plz try to open your mind maybe a bit more and try to consider yourself has “born an African-American” and maybe read the first couple of sentences – like this one for example:
        “White represents purity, splendor, righteousness.” that was / is my point… and i thinl, or like to believe Xavier agreed w/ it…

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