The (blue) Man Inside

Not too long ago I had the opportunity to see the famous Blue Man Group on their Complex Rock Tour. And since this is not a review, let me just quickly say that if you ever have a chance to see the Blue Men, whether in one of their base cities or on tour, it’s worth every penny. There was something different about this particular experience though. It was more than the "humor meets music, marries with creativity and art and mixes with innovation to produce one of the coolest and most unique shows you’ll ever see." It was almost spiritual. And while most of the few thousand people that watched the strange painted musicians that evening left with memories of art and music, I left with a distinct revelation.

Towards the end of the show the Blue Men donned outfits to symbolize that they were going off to work. Work. Something very un-Blue Man. The body paint suddenly disappeared behind a mask and they looked just like everyone else. They performed an act parodying everyday routine of the typical American. A routine I have gotten to know all too well. Get up. Brush your teeth. Go to work. Come home. Eat dinner. Go to bed. Repeat. Until something different happened. One of the Blue Men broke the pattern. He stepped out of the line, took off his work attire, and danced. He became a Blue Man again. Slowly, while some of the Blue Men, live and onscreen, stayed in their rat race, others broke away. As the music blared and the energy flooded the stage, more Blue Men stepped out and made a statement. They danced. They played music. They made art. And it hit me. There is a blue man inside me—inside everyone.

At the core of every human being exists an ability to truly live. It is the patterns of this world that suppress this existence and convince us that we were simply made to get out of bed, go into the office, get back in bed and start the whole process over again. God tells us otherwise. In fact, He gave us a message that is the antithesis of our society’s mantra. "For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?" (Mark 8:35-36)

God does so much more than tell us how not to live. He lets us know that although we are on Earth for the blink of an eye, we can experience fulfillment. Jesus said, "I have come that you might have life and have it to the fullest” (John 10:10). God wants us to live the life of a Blue Man. To shatter the shell of this world and step out of line. But we have to take that step. And it’s difficult because the world paralyzes us with fear. We can’t move, let alone dance. However, God wants us to dance. He wants us to paint. He wants our lives to be bold and passionate portraits of His son.

In his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis states, Everyone is to work with his own hands. And what is more, everyone’s work is to produce something good. There will be no manufacture of silly luxuries and then of sillier advertisements to persuade us to buy them. And as crucial as our occupations seem, God sees us as so much more than what we “do.” Our jobs should not define who we are. And although sometimes a drastic change is exactly what God has in mind, not everyone is called to leave their office and follow a faith-based occupation. Our lives are so much more than our jobs. And this means we have the opportunity to serve God in every minute of our day—not just from nine to five. The challenge is to find a place where you truly feel God wants to use you as a living example. How, and where, can your spirit exude that of a Blue Man?

In his song entitled “The Man Inside,” Bebo Norman sings, Beneath the man-suit, beneath your purple skin, there is a boy who don’t know that he’s a man. He’ll simply close his eyes and he can fly away. Although I don’t think Bebo is referring to the skin of the Blue Man, I do think his lyrics are quite apropos. Somewhere inside each of us is the spirit of a child. The child that still believes he can fly. The child whose most stressful part of the day is making sure she makes the bus on time. The child whose idea of a “meeting” is seeing his best buddy at recess. I find it hard to believe that God intended us to take ourselves as seriously as we often do. That’s why He reminds us that it is in the hearts of children is where His spirit is often found. "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these" (Matthew 19:14).

A child-like and Blue Man-esque spirit lives and breathes inside each one of us. And it is this spirit that will provide the courage and excitement necessary to conquer our fear. A spirit that will let us paint our bodies and make music and art come to life. This spirit will free us from paralysis and let us dance. And if you let it take over, you might just find yourself on stage.

[Adam Wright is a 24 year old from Indianapolis who strives to live each day like it’s the last day of school. He’s getting married in January and couldn’t be more excited.]

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