I’ve been blogging since 2009. Originally, I started it as part of a class that I was taking in seminary on technology and the Church. The blog was to be an integral part of a website I developed. Well, the website was built, but never published. However, I got an ‘A’ in the class, and that was my focus at the time.
Although I only wrote sporadically, I kept the blog open. About a year and a half ago, I had a heart attack. It was serious. In fact, it should have ended my life. Why didn’t it? Providence; a strong body; luck…I’m not sure. As a result, I began to reflect deeply on my life. I suppose that most folks who experience such life altering events do this. For me, it took the shape of looking within myself. I began to get out of bed earlier in order to spend time with God. Over a few months, this time began to grow until I was hopping out of bed at 3:30 A.M. Ok, people think I’m nuts for this, but it is the result of grace, not willpower, I assure you.
I began to query God about my life’s purpose and vocation. You see, I’ve been frustrated with my life. The things I do to get by in this world vex me. I know; I know; I know that what I am doing is not my calling. So, I turned to Creator for answers. The response? “Write. Just, write.” Ok, God, I can do that! Uh, wait…write what?
This is a question that I’m sure many others are asking. If I am to write, what the hell am I supposed to write about? I whined and cried for months about this. “God! You want me to do this, but You aren’t opening the doors for me to accomplish it! Waahhhhh!!!”
Recently, I have begun to dig around a bit. Perhaps, God has planted some seeds that are beginning to germinate. Writers’ websites have become standard daily fare for me. I must know what it takes to build a successful writing career. Yes, I said it…a writing ‘career.’ For over 40 years I’ve been doing something that is not fulfilling and, for lack of better words, a waste of my gifting. I’ve been very successful at doing something I really don’t like. It’s time to start working at something I do.
Back to the Beginning…
Anyway, I digress.
I wrote couple hundred posts. Most of these, ok, all of these were directed toward a specific audience. That audience was the faith community that I had been a part of for most of my adult life. I wrote to challenge that community. But, most of all, I wrote in order to get their approval. The results were disappointing. I got excited over 30 views in a day. Most of the time, it appeared as if no one was out there. ‘Hello! Anybody there?’
Nope, it was just the echo of my own voice reverberating around an empty chamber. I think that the main reason for this was that I was trying to please someone other than myself.
So, I began to take an assessment of my life. Where did I come from? What has been important to me? Where does my passion really lie? The responses are freeing.
I grew up in the 1960s. It was a time of social and cultural shifts of the tectonic kind. Continents of social convention and propriety were crashing together creating mountains and valleys that would change the course of modern history. And, I was on the ground floor! By the time 1970 rolled around I was an aspiring young freak and rock-n-roll lead guitar player. Those of us at that time were anti-everything. There was no established taboo or moré that was above questioning. Then…I got a job. It wasn’t a great job. But, I had money in my pocket and gas in my car. I began to forget about my rebellious teenage years. There were real rewards for dismissing the idealism of youth. After all, you can’t by food on principles. You need hard currency.
During this same period of time, I had a spiritual experience that sent my life on a new trajectory. I began to believe in a higher power that cared about me. No one else seemed to. I embraced this fledgling spirituality with gusto! I read books, (mostly the Christian Bible), I went to meetings, I offered my music, and I found a community. To receive such a boon was life giving nectar to a culturally estranged young person. In response, I gave myself away. In order to continue to connect and receive the sap from the root, I left my true self somewhere else. You see, for us, that was called ‘dying to self.’ Yeah, Jesus loved us. He just didn’t particularly care for who we were. So, we had to change…conform to something else. In our case, that was to embrace conservative ideology. We read and learned from people like James Dobson, and later Al Mohler and John Piper. We voted Republican. We put away our rock-n-roll and embraced something called Christian Contemporary Music. (Call it what you may…but, “music” is stretching it.) All the while, I found myself drifting further and further from the person that God had made me to be.
Through several events, not the least of which was 5 years in seminary, I have begun to find my way back. It seems that God loves me for who I am, not for who someone else thinks I should be. God loves the rebellious person who pushes back against the accommodations of culture. Creator has imbued me with gifts that no one else has. Gifts that are to be used; placed on a mountain and not under a bushel. So, I have begun a new blog. I am reinventing myself and my presence in the world. I have no one to answer to but God and myself. I’m too old to do anything else. I’ve spent my entire life compromising, no…prostituting, myself to others. No more!
How do you feel about where your life-travels have taken you? Are you frustrated, like I’ve been? Are you content? Please reply to this and let’s talk.