The other day, I walked into a room and a friend said, “Captain Cal! Or, um, maybe you don’t want to be called that after…” (After the layoff, is what he was saying. After spending 5 or so years of my life as Captain Cal on His Kids Radio.) And I’ll admit, in the first few years after being laid off, hearing that name did sting a little, because so much of my world was wrapped up in my identity with that job.
Interestingly, and in a typical example of God always being about 2 million steps ahead of us, Vicki and I had talked about just this thing – how hearing the name “Captain Cal” sometimes jabbed me a little, usually from specific people in a specific place. It provided a place for Sightblinder to zing me one more time, remind me of what is past and perhaps get in a few digs about how I must have failed miserably or else I wouldn’t have been “dumped.”
I’m not going to let Mr. Big Ol’ Poopy Headed Person get away with that.
(I’m a little immature sometimes. Didn’t know if you noticed that.)
What I had remembered when Vicki and I talked about it was this: I’ve been Captain Cal for way, w-a-a-y longer than my history on His Kids Radio – that’s been my name for years and years. Actually, I was graced with that name by someone my freshman year in college – he just started calling me Captain Cal, and it hung around in the background for a while. When I started doing magic and storytelling, that was the logical name to use as my stage name. And, for lots of kiddos over the years, Captain Cal and Miss Vicki became a good alternative to Aunt and Uncle or Mr. and Mrs. I’ve been wearing my “Captain” for a lot longer than my time on the air.
It’s amazing what our enemy will try and use to make us miserable – even a name. Sightblinder will try and hang all sorts of associations on something as simple as a nickname, and then tie that to a big ol’ anchor and try to throw us over the side to drown. And all too often, I’ll stand there and let him do it – I’ll give him the rope, watch as he ties the knots, even provide the anchor as I get thrown over, and think “poor pitiful me” as I’m sinking.
But, if I open all the doors and windows so that God’s light shines in to every corner of my life, then all the raw materials of shame, regret, anger, bitterness and so many others are exposed for the lies they really are. They can’t stand in the reality of God’s love, grace and mercy.
Here’s the tough part: too often, I allow that crap to just roll around in my head, gaining momentum and speed instead of allowing God to show me they are lies. I’d much rather wallow in self-misery than turn to the One who can make everything plain and clear.
So I try once again to develop the discipline of turning to Him first, now and always when darkness threatens to cloud my mind. To live in His light and truth, rather than living in my own misconceptions. Every day, every hour, every minute – all to Him.
So, please… call me Captain. 😀