What I Have In Common With Bruce Springsteen

As you can see under the “Books I Like” heading, I recently read Peter Ames Carlin’s new biography of Bruce Springsteen.

And in reading it, I discovered something I share in common with him.

Not guitar talent.

Not singing voice.

Not ability to write lyrics.

Not even time in New Jersey — my seven years pale in comparison to the sixty or so that he has lived there.

No, it’s this: as the book says, he has a tendency toward social isolation while at the same time having a secret desire to be the center of attention. 

Whoa.  That’s an interesting paradox, isn’t it?  Within the same person a desire to escape and a near-compulsion to be in the spotlight.

And just when I started to think, “man, that guy can sing but he sure is messed up” I realized:  that’s me.

I don’t mind a day alone.  In social situations that don’t involve this church — say, a function for Julie’s job — I can be a pretty good wallflower.  And I loathe going out to lunch after preaching — even if it’s with good friends.  What do I do instead?  Go to the YMCA.  To work out alone.

And yet . . . when the environment involves the church or even the denomination, I become a social butterfly.  I love to mingle.  I enjoy small talk.  And on Sunday mornings, I really, really like to stand up in public and teach, provoke, inspire (sometimes), and console.

So while I’m not necessarily born to run, like Bruce I sometimes wear a brilliant disguise.