Friday, January 20, 2006

Thoughts on why I can never meet Chris Rice

Although this may appear to be a blog about Chris Rice, it's not. It's about fantasy.

If you know me well or have been a long time blog reader, you know that I simply adore Chris Rice's music. I won't try to start to explain how I feel about his songwriting or I'll never shut up. Let's just say it's... wonderful. :) Although the fact is that I only know Chris Rice through his songwriting and brief comments on a DVD from a concert I have, I really don't know the man Chris Rice. But because his music speaks to me on such a deep spiritual level, I feel like I do know him. My mind has conjured up this image of him as a person, and I have put that person on a pedestal as nearly perfect. It's not something I did consciously, but I've done it. For example, because of the deep nature of many of his songs, I would expect Chris to be rather serious and deep most of the time. We could sit in coffee shops for hours brooding over popular theological points. However, the fact is that Chris is primarily a youth leader, and that job lends itself to being rather... not so serious the majority of the time.

This leads to reason number one that I can't meet Chris Rice. Expectation. As my dear friend Jess pointed out to me the other night, "You can't meet him. That'd ruin the fantasy." He couldn't be just who I wanted him to be, I would have to acknowledge who he is. Tied in along with this is a point that I gleaned from the Oprah DVD commentary on her interview with Paul McCartney. Oprah felt about McCartney much like I feel about Chris. She idolized him, put him on that pedestal. In the commentary she says that she had such great hopes for this meeting. Knowing how silly and unrealistic it was, she was honest about how she hoped he'd react to meeting her. She said (paraphrased), "I wanted him to like me. I wanted him to say, 'Please, be my friend. Come away with me and we can spend the rest of our lives hanging out together, because I think you're cool.' But, he didn't say that." I'm like that with Chris. I'd want him to want to be my friend, to like me, to think I was deep and holy. But chances are that if I ever got to the concert and got to shake his hand, I'd just be another fan that he would take a photo with. And then where would my fantasy be? In the toilet. :) And what if, God forbid, he didn't like me? What if he was conservative? :) What would I do then? I shudder at the thought. :) So, be it healthy or not, I think I'd rather hold onto my fantasy than have it dashed.

I write about this because I believe that it's not just Oprah and I who have these idols (this term used loosely, please no comments on my worship of Chris Rice). Surely some of you, my friends, have these in your own life. If you feel the spirit moving you, please give an amen and perhaps who your person is in the comments section.

I feel somewhat safe in having my fantasy person be Chris Rice, who lives far away in Tennessee and I doubt I will ever meet, let alone have any kind of deeper conversation with him. Like I said before, I don't know if this is healthy or not (feel free to give your opinions). But I do know that some people's idols are in their real lives. Friends or boy/girlfriends or parents or children. This is so risky and leaves so many people hurt in it's wake.

Well, I have run out of thoughts on this subject. Congrats if you made it all the way through. And thanks for all the good comments on the Derek Webb CD. I should say that I do have a special place in my heart for KLOVE because it has ministered to me for so many years inbetween the twinkie songs. :)


EandJTrygg said...

Isn't Chris Rice the guy who inflicted that cartoon song on the rest of the world? Yeeesh!


Neener said...


crittermer said...

Poor Chris Rice! He writes all this good stuff and yet he's going down in history as the writer of the cartoon song. I guess we all have a few skeletons in our closets.

friend said...


In theory i loves his love for God even though he is so rough in appearance.

In reality, his liberal side might bug me.

Christopher said...

hi ann, I recently read leaving ruin . . . you have it listed in your book profile with the other few who listed it as well . . . looking at your blog looks like you've been through a lot and much recently. just wanted to say hi . . . and I cant believe how much Klove loves Chris Rice and his cartoon song? what would klove play if they didn't have rice, mullins and M.W. Smith . . . do you know what happened with Jenifer knapp (great lyrics) . . . did she fall of the globe or what. prayer to you and your familiy

Anonymous said...

As a fellow Chris Rice fan, I agree that cartoon song belies his "theologically inquisitive" style that he writes in most of the time. Well, what do you expect from a youth minister. As to idols, mine is Elisabeth Elliot. I've read three of her books and have often thought that if there was anyone famous I could meet, it would be her. Now that I'm working at Mardel, I anticipate using my discount for more of her books!
~Cherry Renae