I’ve been a Christian most of my life. I really love Jesus and every day I try to be more and more like him. That really is the point of the Christian life: trying to be more and more like Jesus. So we read the Bible, we see Jesus’ example and then we try to follow that example in our everyday lives.
For nerds, though, Jesus’ isn’t the only example we follow. There are certain nerdy role models whose influence we allow to seep into our daily lives. Here are some nerdy examples I find myself following.
Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
I’m not British so tea isn’t really a big thing for me. I drink at least two cups of coffee a day and, if it wasn’t for the influence of one Starfleet Captain, I don’t think I’d ever drink tea. A few times a week, though, instead of loading another coffee cartridge into my Keurig K-Cup machine, I’ll load up an Earl Grey tea cartridge. I don’t know if Captain Picard drank anything other than Earl Grey tea. His replicator order of “Tea. Early Grey. Hot.” is forever entrenched in my memory. When I make my Earl Grey tea I’ll often quote Picard to my Keurig. I don’t think the Keurig is advanced enough to understand what I mean but it makes me happy.
Jedi Door Tricks
I want to be a Jedi. And not one of the lame librarian Jedi that takes care of books, but one that’s flying around the galaxy, swinging a lightsaber and seeking justice on Outer Rim worlds. Unfortunately, though, I’m not a Jedi. I have a few different lightsabers but they’re nothing more than glorified flashlights. I don’t have a Jedi starfighter; instead I drive around in a soccer mom car. I don’t have Jedi powers but every time I walk through an automatic door I pretend like a do. I would love to put a camera above an automatic door and see how many people subtlety wave their hand, pretending to exert their Jedi powers in order to enter the store. I know that camera would catch me doing it almost every single time, smiling to myself because in that small moment I really feel like a Knight of the Old Republic.
I finally read 1984 last year and appreciated the dystopian future created by George Orwell. I obviously would hate to live in a world governed by totalitarian governments locked in a never-ending war. For an introvert like me, though, there is something appealing about people walking quickly to and from their homes, avoiding eye contact and keeping everyone at a distance, for fear they might be secret police. I try to emulate this dystopian indifference as much as possible. At church and with our youth group I do my best to engage with people and be a part of their lives. When I’m just walking through the grocery store, though, I might as well be Winston Smith or Bernard Marx. I want to get in the store, get my milk and pita bread, and get out. I know the grocery checker isn’t a member of the secret police but sometimes I treat her like she is.
Ignoring people at the grocery store probably isn’t the most Christlike thing to do, which is why we should ultimately model our lives and behavior after Jesus instead of nerdy characters. Captain Picard made a difference in a fictional version of the 24th century but Jesus made the biggest difference in our actual universe. If we’re going to follow one example, it should probably be that of our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ.
That won’t keep me from saying, “Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.” to my Keurig.
What nerdy examples do you follow in your everyday life?