Thursday, January 29, 2009

The blog behind the blog

This whole idea of examining my own life has been a long time coming. There's a lot of posturing in the world of being an adult male, and after a while even the best of us can get confused about who it is that we really are.

Unsure to begin with, we then listen to such a wide and contradictory variety of loud, persuasive, voices:
  • "You should be like this..."
  • "Americans are supposed to be like this..."
  • "Well, you say you're a Christian..."
  • "Now you're associated with this group of people - then this is how you are..."
  • "The really cool people – and we all want to be cool – act/think/speak/believe… this way..."
  • "This is a corporate culture and it's important to fit in..."
  • "A good citizen will stimulate the economy..."
  • "A good American will think this way about the world..."
  • "This is your station and you're expected to..."
  • "You're English… American… White… College Graduate… A believer…A child of the 60's… … A school Teacher… A Republican… A Democrat…a conservative... Presbyterian… Catholic… Baptist… Atheist…
Then, and most especially when you're around thirty years old, and a new father, and so busy it hurts, and haven't spent much quality time with your wife in maybe five years, and there's all this pressure to be and do and provide and solve and WHATEVER - then it is too easy to carefully erect a barrier of some kind, or a series of barriers, just to protect yourself, and you hide behind this carefully or hastily constructed partition - just a little maybe at first - and before you know it you can't even find yourself anymore for all the pretending….

So in my personal journey I went through so much clearing out. It hurt a lot but it was good for me. And I grew by leaps and bounds - but even so always temporarily, because the honesty is supposed to be ongoing, and that has got to be pretty much a daily deal if you want it to really take. And besides, as we all know, the overwhelm can sneak in and stake its claim - subtle like - and the first casualty is almost always integrity.

This year, then (and now we're almost a month into 2009) I have made a conscious decision to try to be more proactive regarding the looking closely and being honest part. Or, as Jedi Master Yoda pointed out in Star Wars - "Do, or do not. There is no 'try.'" That's really my motivation behind this "A Life Examined" idea/process/witness.

That said, I really can't think of a better place to begin than at The Beginning – right there in the Gospel of John. "In him was life, and that life was the light of men." (John 1: 4)

More on the light probably tomorrow.
Joy and gratitude - DEREK

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