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I am sure you have heard it, the anthem of a hopeless band of disillusioned youth, shouting from the rooftops “I wish that I could be like the cool kids.” This refrain isn’t new in any way, yet for some reason these days it hits me hard; for some reason it hits me square in the chest and it makes me mad. Not mad that the music exists, but mad that it has become so common to feel uncool that people have been able to monopolize the feelings of the outcasts and make a mint on it. Have you ever had that moment where you started to realize that you might be cooler than you ever thought? That maybe everything you ever thought about yourself might be one big fat lie. I have always thought of myself as nothing special, more than that, I believed that there were things about me which made me void of even some sense of base value; like every other human life had value, but I was somehow created without it. But somehow within the past few months, God has begun revealing to me the worth and value He sees in me, and it’s making me think that maybe there is something more than I have seen and it excites me. It excites me because I have hope, and not hope that is far off, but a hope that is near, a hope that is not just for me, but a hope that will extend beyond me.

If you are here reading this blog, I would like for you to join me to take a moment to think about what it is that you have believed makes you cool. Is it the way you talk, the way you dress, the car that you drive? Is it the way that guy or girl looks at you? What is it? We all have something that defines cool for us, and each situation is unique, but I am beginning to believe that we all need a better definition of cool.

Some of you reading might be thinking “I am an adult, I don’t care if people think I am cool…” But I would challenge you to think of where you bought your clothes most recently… Did you splurge for the name brand or settle for something less? Did you get the membership to the country club so that you could prove how uncool you are? Did you get hammered because you felt too good about yourself? I am guessing that even the oldest people still do things for the sake of conformity. It is time for all of us to figure out what cool is together.

I believe that you are cool, because cool isn’t something that is given or taken away; it isn’t something you earn, but it is something that every person has from birth to death. The mystery of cool is that it already exists within you. It’s what you do with the cool that you have that matters. In the Bible it talks about how each person is “Fearfully and wonderfully made…” If you are wonderfully made how can you not be cool? Being alive is cool! And if you live cool enough, you will be remembered after you die for your coolness! Sadly too many people that are deemed cool use their coolness to make others feel unwanted. The people who the world sees as cool are the people who feel like there isn’t enough cool to go around. They need it all for themselves so they steal the cool from other people.

I think being cool looks like being you. When you stop letting people define you and start giving the Creator space to speak into who you are. When all I could hear were  the voices of the people from my past calling me all manner of names that I allowed to cover over who I was created to be I lived a life lower than the calling that is in my heart. To be honest, this is not an easy road. There will be moments when you have to fight with all of the voices telling you different things and find the strength within you to stand against the lies. For me the lies have been so loud that it felt like I was trying to hear someone whisper while I was next to Niagara Falls, but now that I have begun the process of training my ears, I long for nothing more than to hear that gentle soft voice calling me into who I truly am!

This is part of where Daring to be Derek comes in. My name is Derek, it means leader of the people, and I want to live into that. I believe that my name was given to me on purpose, that God knew I would need a guidepost to lead me where I was going. Some people may think that I am reading into it too much, but I have seen the way that God is involved in much more than we will ever give Him credit for. He is the one who ordained me to have the cool that I have which is unique to me! We all have a piece of cool that the LORD has placed inside of us and the WORLD needs you to be fully you! For me, I don’t want to be defined by anyone else than God! He is the one who tells me who I am! He is the one who created me and He will be the one to direct me in the path of COOL!

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