I am a lifelong antithesis.
- A person or thing that is the direct opposite of someone or something else.
- Direct contrast; opposition.
An antithesis is a rhetorical device in which two opposite ideas are put together in a sentence to achieve a contrasting effect. One of the greatest examples of the rhetorical use of antithesis would be from the classic novel, A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.”
On this Earth I live in a continual state of contradiction, being both flesh and spirit. As long as my spirit is robed in flesh, this juxtaposition continues. There will come a day when I will be freed of this Earthly garment, but, until then,
I am a lifelong antithesis.
My spirit lives in disagreement with my flesh. My flesh lives in defiance of my spirit. My fickle heart grows weary as it is torn between the two. It waits, in limbo, for a decision to be made.
So which wins?
Propaganda, a Christian hip-hop rapper, is one of my favorite artists. I use the word “artist” very intentionally because everything he does is truly artistic and poetic in nature. I was scrolling through my Instagram feed one day and I noticed that “Prop”, as he sometimes refers to himself, was working on a book. As a lover of literature and words, this was extremely exciting! Not only was it a book, but it was my favorite form of literature: poetry. I couldn’t wait to order this masterpiece, convinced that it was sure to be nothing short of poetic genius. I clicked on the link he posted and followed it to the site of his project, “I Am Becoming”.
I Am Becoming.
That phrase resonated with me in a way no phrase ever had before. It hit home. As a 20 year old sophomore in college fighting to establish myself in this world, I found myself thinking, “ I’m not there, yet. I’m not where I want to be. I’m nowhere close to who I want to be, but slowly, surely, I am becoming.” I had never heard a more fitting phrase to express exactly what I had been telling myself so often. Being the perfectionist that I am, I have a hard time with the idea of “becoming”. “Becoming” elicits an expectation of the long road that lies before me. The word is filled with hope, yet unsatisfying. I do not want to “become”. I want to BE. I want to BE spiritual. I want to BE prayerful. I want to BE wise. Today. Now. I do not want to wait. I do not want to struggle through. I do not want to “become”. Still, there is such power in that word: becoming.
1.the process of coming to be something or of passing into a state.
There was the answer I was searching for and yet dreading to hear. “Becoming” is how I am to achieve my passage into the state I so desire to live in: the spiritual. In the very definition of the word “becoming” is the word “process”.
- a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end.
The simple question, “which wins?” when considering the battle between spirit and flesh has been answered throughout the course of time as “whichever you feed”. It’s very logical to think that whatever you feed will grow and whatever you starve will die; however, the key is to remember that becoming is a process. Every day, with every “action”, every “step”, you grow closer to meeting your “end”. This very idea is what Paul was referring to when he said “I die daily” (1 Corinthians 15:31). This is how we become so that one day we may BE.
This blog is an invitation for a front row seat to my “process”. I am a lover of words; I am a writer. As a writer, I believe that life consists of intangible beauties that are both inexplicable and indefinable, too complex to encompass in the languages of men. Yet I feel a deep desire, a burdensome yet exhilarating responsibility, to express these intangibles in tangible ways. I believe that it is when we stop trying to understand ourselves and the lives we live that we become disenchanted by our world. I believe that, if one seeks and yearns to see beauty, they will find it interwoven in the very fabrics and primitive hierarchies of their everyday lives. Like many aspiring young writers, I long to explain the inexplicable and define the indefinable. I want my words to be your words, his words, her words, and their words. More than just an organization of syllables, I want them to be a set of truths working harmoniously to express. I want my words, our words, to soothe the soul even while chilling the bones. I want to capture the soul’s cries, but even more so I want to discover its almost-silent whispers. If one person can identify with just one line of my writing then I consider every minute, every hour, every day I’ve spent pouring over these words a success. If, for one moment, for one second in the grand scheme of time, I helped someone feel the kindrance of understanding, then I’ve done what every writer has ever sought to do.
As a Christian, my life is devoted to becoming, to reaching the perfection of Christ. The prophet Paul referred to this journey as a “race” and a “fight” (2 Timothy 4:7). I want every step I take to be in His direction. I want every word I say to sound increasingly like His voice. When people enter my presence, I want them to feel the same peace and love they feel in the presence of the Lord.
I am not there yet, but I am becoming.
I am a lifelong antithesis.
This is my process.