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Oct 20, 2010

A Whole Lot-a Rosie

I was the last one to ride down the bumpy dirt trail and jump the ramp on my bike. All of the other neighborhood kids had made their jump and placed their markers. Bobby St. John had jumped the furthest. My brother Dave was about six inches short of him and Danny bikeKlender just wiped out and was sitting on the sidelines trying not to let anyone see him cry. There was a lot riding on this jump. I was more concerned with not wiping out than I was with beating Bobby St. John. I knew I couldn’t jump as far as he could, but I had to at least make it over the ramp without falling on my face because it had already been established that whoever didn’t make the jump “Loved Rosie.” I didn't want to love Rosie bad enough to risk my life on a ramp made of rotten particle board and a stack of newspapers. It was worth the risk. We'd do anything to not love Rosie. 

Who was Rosie? Truthfully, I’m not really sure to this day who she was. I know she had red hair and freckles and she was really, really ugly. She was in my brother Kevin’s class at school. Though until much later, I had never actually seen Rosie, she had become the measuring rod and source of motivation for rosiejust about everything we did. Whoever didn’t jump off the middle branch of the tree into the mud pile “loves Rosie.” Whoever didn’t ride their skateboard down the hill and across the busy street, “loves Rosie.” The last one home “loves Rosie.” Rosie replaced rotten eggs and chickens when I was growing up. She was used to inspire little boys to do great things. We’d do anything to avoid loving her. I once crawled on my hands and kn ees almost two blocks through the sewers in our neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri just to avoid loving her.  

The flip side to loving Rosie was “joining the club.” We were always either running from something or running to something. One time I rode my bike straight down a mountain full of jumping cactus and jagged rocks, just to “be in the club.” There never really was a club when all was said and done, but the idea of being in the club if there were one was extremely appealing to an eight-year-old boy. We’d all finish a task and say, “YEA, we’re all in the club,” and then we’d go home and eat dinner, and go to sleep without another mention of the club. I guess it was just the club of having ridden our bikes down that mountain. We didn’t have club meetings or a board of directors or anything like that. It was just something we said to each other that made us want to do the same things. It didn’t really matter one way or another, as long as we could say we were “in the club.”club There were hundreds of clubs we had growing up, and I was a card-holding member of them all.  

As I got older I finally got to the point where I no longer cared if people said I loved Rosie. I remember actually seeing Rosie one day when we were standing in line for the bus. My brother Kevin pointed her out to me, and to my amazement, she was actually kind of pretty. I had spent several years jumping ramps, crawling in sewers, and riding down dangerous terrains to get away from loving Rosie, and now that I finally saw her, she wasn’t that bad. I also got sick of joining the club because it seemed that no matter what I did to join, there was always something else I had to do a day later. There was never a point where I was a member of the club with no strings attached. The club was becoming more of a bitch than I had previously thought Rosie was.  

That was nearly forty years ago, and not much has changed today. Even as adults we’re either running from something or running to something. And it’s all based on imagined endings and peer pressure. I’ve had a lot of Rosies in my life that I ran like hell from and a lot of clubs I did stupid things to be a part of. I’ve found that the Rosies in life are never as ugly as you think, and the clubs are rarely as cool as you dreamed. I find that there are thousands of adults who live in serious bondage because they fear being called a name or being picassociated with a certain group so much, and there are even more who are exhausted and miserable trying to keep up with what other adults are doing.   

The Christian religion has their “Rosies” as well. We have names and labels that can make or break a person in the Christian social world in a matter of seconds. If anyone dares to buck the system or think for themselves they’re quickly brought under control with names like, “Jezebel,” “rebellious,” “critical,” “angry” or “heretic.” People will do most anything to avoid being tagged with one of these crafty labels because they know the moment the stamp hits their forehead, they’re out of the club for good. They may as well leave the church, change their name and enter the FBI’s Witness Protection Program because the social networking in religion, when it comes to blackballing, labeling and name calling, is better than facebook and myspace combined. 

There comes a time in life when you have to take a serious look at what you’ve become as a result of running from and to these things. Over time we compromise ourselves so many times that we don’t even know who we are anymore. I think some people walk around speaking from the perspective of “the club” so much and for so long that they can’t even 
hear or recognize the sound of their own voice anymore. They live their life based on what they don’t want to become and they define themselves by the things they disagree with. 

I think real freedom is getting to the place in life where you unashamedly love Rosie and you absolutely hate clubs. Once you get to that place, you’ll find yourself there waiting for you. My advise is that you hook up with YOU and begin living again.


Darin Hufford

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  1. Gravatar
    Ahna Capri

    Oh Dain, I love this! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Gravatar
    Warren Aldrich

    Like I'd join a club that would have me?
    Great article, thanks for your entertaining ability to hit the nail on the head.

  3. Gravatar
    Shane Chapman

    Great blog Dairin..this is something that will stick with me.

  4. Gravatar

    .."My advise is that you hook up with YOU and begin living again"....
    This is a statement that I have been striving towards. I want to be present in my every single moment, not just a bystander that watches as life moves along without me in it.
    Again, another beautifully written article Darin.

  5. Gravatar
    Stephanie McEntire

    That was just awesome.

  6. Gravatar
    Andy B

    That's a whole book in just a few paragraphs. It's amazing what we will do to belong or not belong to something to protect our image and boost our ego's,or to avoid being labled in some undesirable way.
    Our identity is in Christ and that identity says, " you are loved, totally and completely...... regardless." Thanks Darin.

  7. Gravatar
    Jacob Heynen

    Ya, I hate clubs. I can't stand their leaders either. Today I'm my own rebellious self and finding other individuals. I don't want to change anyone. I just want to love and accept myself and others. I'm being honest now to myself and the world. I'm getting free but it is a freakn process.
    Thanks Darin for being courageous along with all of us sinners.

  8. Gravatar
    Pete Claffey

    loving Rosie may have been a wonderful experience but someone decided for everyone else.
    Who makes your decisions?
    I once had an Elder in a church tell me not to associate with this brother because he was negative. This negative brother I liked this Elder I didn't like, so he lost.

  9. Gravatar

    Thankyou for this. There's something so freeing about accepting who you are, and not worrying about labels. Just knowing who you are and knowing what you have with God.

  10. Gravatar

    being self conscious always alienates us from God, true freedom and satisfaction comes from being able to see Jesus and all that He is, and then identifying ourselves in Him, that is the key, the philosophy of the world tells us to look at ourselves and discovering ourselves as the key to finding fulfillment but this is totally the opposite to Gods way, The miracle takes place when we can take our mind and thoughts off ourselves, and stop trying to control our behaviour to get His approval and begin to behold Jesus and His goodness, its here we learn to be comfortable in His presence without a mask, to realise we are excepted because of Christs work and not by what we have or have not done and to come as we are and its here that He is able to change us and here that we finaly enter His rest. The philosphy of the world sounds good for a time but only Gods truth can set us free, and that truth is Jesus, true rest and peace comes from seeing Him and identifying ourselves in Him.

  11. Gravatar

    really good, AC/DC sing a song "whole lot of Rosie" and what you say is true, Rosie is a lot prettier than any club.

  12. Gravatar

    oh yeah!! This is a struggle for so many and has led my choices for years. leading me to where I am today, but the good news you share is I can begin to love Rosie and turn around, become the beloved son of God that I already am.

  13. Gravatar

    I am so glad I left that club! LOL. I am alright with not being in any club anymore. That was very well put. One of my favorites from you, Darin.

  14. Gravatar
    jeremy w

    Very good! I can see a whole book on this type of subject...I've come up with a phrase in the last year or two ''Niceness Clubs" - basically what many IC are - i found that the currency of churchianity is to be 'nice' or appear 'nice' ....and who cares about anyone's real pain or who they are as a person....having said that i don't want to be in the 'club' of simply being against the IC...just that where i'm at i cannot be in the IC now and possibly never again as i'm in too much pain to put on a fake face in that environment.

  15. Gravatar

    Loved your simple childhood story!!! Simple way to get a very strong point across...Great lesson that I won't forget: To not love Rosie was to fit in the club...yet to fit in the club was to not really live...the club aka religion, taught you to perform to fit...instead of living to really just Be~~~Brilliant! Hope to see more from you. Thanks!

  16. Gravatar

    choc full of truth. its hard we all want to belong. also hard when those outside the box or trying to live free also label me. maybe because i am deceived and dangerous or maybe because people are still holding onto things they think are non negotiable and central to the faith.
    to be honest i just tend to hold back to avoid conflict or avoid believers altogether. i'm trying to become someone not clinging onto my own club or pushing others away because they fail the tests i give them.
    to be to others want i want to receive in return.
    thanks for encouraging message!

  17. Gravatar

    I was a member of that club also. Only us girls had to love "Darin".

  18. Gravatar
    Carlos the wetback

    You don't get tired of talking about the same thing?

  19. Gravatar

    You know, after a few beers Rosie is starting to look pretty good. Maybe the beers will work for going to an IC church service too?

  20. Gravatar

    This was an awesome blog. Thank you so much. This struck such a note with me. As I was reading I realized how many times I had run from "loving Rosie," and how many times that had taken place within the "christian" world.

  21. Gravatar

    was instantly reminded of CS Lewis who wrote quite a bit about the Inner Circle and how we all strive to join that circle, only to find that it´s like an onion--more circles inside!!

  22. Gravatar

    Awesome post...
    "They base their life on what they don't want to become or on what they disagree with." It's this focus that draws us away from who we really are...a child of God who is loved no matter what....and whose life becomes transformed in the knowledge and reality of that truth....
    Thanks Darin...

  23. Gravatar

    I really appreciate this post! Thanks Darin.

  24. Gravatar

    I like your point, but all I could think of while reading was "I hope Rosie isn't reading this". I hope you changed the name - or made her up.

  25. Gravatar

    Thank you Darin, this is encouraging. Im not defining myself for the membership of any club. And definitely love Rosie!!!! Jejejejeje

  26. Gravatar

    Wow, I'm striving to stay in the club when everything in me says do leap out the window and I'm still afraid of being called a heretic. It hasn't been that long ago, I kid you not, that our pastor spoke of 4 Star members; those who attended, served, gave and belonged to a small group. At the present time I am just a 2 Star member as I only attend and serve. What's a man to do? I only do it because my wife doesn't know I'm a heretic and if she new I was secretly in love with Rosie..................

  27. Gravatar
    Doug in Denver

    Great post Darin, I must admit I was afraid it was Rosie O'Donnel, I was relieved.

    And Mike, if it is any consolation Jesus thinks you are a 5 star member, and in many ways I am in the same boat you are in, but my wife has been pretty gracious and she has given me the room to explore my Lord apart from the IC. She actually sees the same stuff but isn't quite as ready to conceed.

  28. Gravatar
    Dave S

    A few weeks back, during a Bible study on Galatians, I dared to suggest that while one will, typically, argue that the good fruit in a believer's life is evidence of obedience and adherance to true discipleship, it can also be argued (though it rarely is) that sickness and "lack" in that same believer's life might, quite possibly,be the direct result of adherance to old covenant, legalistic practices (think tithing, for instance)that bring the curse that comes with piddling around with Law instead of fully receiving Grace and the blessings that come with that grace. Needless to say, the IC club shot me a look that conveyed ejection from that particular bunch.

  29. Gravatar

    Leaving a club I was never part of was crazy hard but so freeing and the best desicion I made so far.

    And thanks Darin, you have such great stories that illustrate the points so well :-).

  30. Gravatar

    Welp...I was drawn to the blog by the title. It was exactly what I needed to hear today!

  31. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    thanks Christine.

  32. Gravatar

    I just found your site and whole heartedly agree. I was beginning to think maybe I'm the only freak who was sick of the club. The cool thing is that four years ago when I dared to be honest, God rocked my world harder than my church club ever has in 43 years of "church jail", so I don't even miss it. God and I are on a secret journey, and it is so precious to me I kind of don't want to let anyone else in! Go get your own journey! :0)

  33. Gravatar

    I'm new around here and going thru these blogs one by one and getting refreshed. Some days you can feel so unsure of yourself and every choice you've ever made - tonight my husband/hi school sweetheart for some reason reminded me that one of the reasons he "fell in love" with me all those years ago was because I was so spicy and refused to accept a bid from a hi school sorority because only a few got included and got to be "cool" while everyone else got excluded - I felt it was "cooler" at the time to identify with the excluded ones. I'd forgotten that stand I took but I admire the girl I once was . . . and it made me remember a few other courageous stands I've made thru the years. And I remember times when I've known what it was like to be the "Rosie" everyone agreed they didn't want to "love" . . . kinda gives you a distaste for "the club" mentality. And I'm glad.

  34. Gravatar

    Thank you for such an insightful article! I am currently a bi-vocational pastor of a small church and I am currently rethinking and evaluating my connections with the 'church club' I have been in. This article has lent me much 'food for thought' as I continue on this journey toward real freedom in Christ. I will continue to rethink and evaluate and hopefully have a more productive and personal walk with Christ when I am through. The guidance of people like you and the FBN has already helped in that journey in untold ways. I look forward to discovering and growing even more. Once again, thanks to you and God's richest blessings for you and yours always!

  35. Gravatar

    I am very much loving Rosie and out-of-the-club right now, and this was just what I needed to hear today. Thanks. (Also on the name-calling/labeling list you forgot the dreaded "liberal." LOL)

  36. Gravatar

    Lately I have been thinking that church in America seems to be just that an expensive club for certain people.. an elite religious club. Heck, when you think about what it costs to be a "tithing" member versus the cost of joining a country club..what is the difference?

  37. Gravatar

    If we free ourselves from every aspect of discipline or ignore the yearnings and regeneration of the Holy spirit, aren't we then free spirits like the demonic realm? Your teachings are eerily reminiscent of a conversation I once had with a universalist.

  38. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    I'm struggling to find where in this article you saw that I was saying we shouldn't be disciplined or we don't need to follow the Holy Spirits voice. You really have to assume a lot of things to get to where you got Mark. I would suggest you re-read this article and then read your comment. The two literally have absolutely nothing to do with one another. I'm wondering if you might accidentally be responding to another article, however I can't even think of an article I've EVER written that says things of this sort.

  39. Gravatar

    Great stuff. Im dutch and also from a religious hive culture. Alas America aint much wiser then dutch classic religion. I said to a friend: you yanks are easy going indeed. Except when you are christians

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