Friday, March 31, 2006

Tooting my horn...

Okay, I've got to toot my horn just a bit! Since I've started writing again, I thought I'd submit an article to a website that I really like, Relevant. Well, they used my article and it's up on the site now for a little while! Yay!

Check it out here: Deflating Dogma

I always feel like somebody's watching me...

I realized this morning, as I finished my morning devotions and reading and took a moment or two to reflect upon what I'd learned and where I'm at today that I am living in fear of something. I'm not entirely sure that I knew that I was living in that fear but, well, now I'm pretty confident of it. And the good thing is that now that I'm aware of it, I can now acknowledge it, examine it, turning it around and exploring it's unique facets like those of a prism in the light.

So, what is it that I'm afraid of, you ask? I think, to some degree anyway, that I live with a subtle fear lurking beneath the surface, of my past. Now, some who have known me, or at the very least think they do, will protest that my "past" is not all that colorful at all, that there's really nothing other than a bad ride 'round the "Small World" ride at Disney to haunt me. Others maybe who have seen darker sides of me are shaking their heads and nodding to themselves, thinking, "Be afraid. Be very afraid." Ultimately, I know me, at least I am learning me and understand that there are some things within, and some things I've allowed without in both the distant and recent past, that are less than flattering and even more so, just disturbing. So, I struggle with those thoughts, those images, those ideas that clamor for attention.

Why am I so afraid of that which is already done? Part of my struggle I think comes as I wrestle to overcome the image of God that I held and was taught from varying sources for so long. It was never explained explicitly to me that God was a universal enforcer just waiting for us to screw up so He could knock us into oblivion. But, somehow, through the course of my upbringing, that image had implanted itself upon my mind. Now, as I have wrestled with that, discovered truth apart from that, I still struggle with that image that is imprinted upon my mind. I'm not sure what the solution is in regards to erasing that image. However, I think I've decided that I'm going to paint over that dark spot with some bright paint that I've found in recent years that declares the true love, the true glory, of the one called Christ. In those bright colors, we'll cover up the past and begin anew.

Monday, March 27, 2006

How Do I Identify Myself? Part 1?

Okay, so I said that I'd tackle some questions and there's really no time like the present. And, if you're going to tackle something like that, why not start big? So, my question of the day(s) is: How do I identify myself? De Mello makes the case pretty profoundly that we spend far too much of our time associating who we are with outside influences. Essentially, we find our worth in attachments, in things of this world. So, here's my chance to come clean, how do I identify myself?

Well, if asked that question, as it seems I have been, I'd have to say that first I'm a seeker. I'm someone who is in pursuit of Truth, and that Truth I believe is found in the person of Jesus Christ, therefore I would most likely identify myself as a Christian. (I must say, however, that the term "Christian" has become more and more perverted every day and that I'd really love for someone to come up with a better alternative! I'm not particularly proud of being lumped in with fellas like Robertson and Falwell, knowwhatImean?) Anyway, from there I would associate myself with the roles I play as a husband, a father, and an employee. I would also throw student into the batch as well. Perhaps I might add athlete, son, and taxpayer as well.

So, there we have it. There are the ways that I can potentially identify myself. But is there more that I do, perhaps unconsciously, in order to identify myself? What about the way I dress? Or the music I listen to? Or the way that I deal with people? Is there some sense of identification in that as well? I suppose that there is. I don't wear flannel shirts, a mesh cap, work boots and such because, well, I'm not my father. Instead, I opt for a t-shirt, jeans, and sandals as much as I can. But, if I'm very honest, I think that in some ways that fashion statement I make (or lack-of-fashion statement, my wife might assert) makes me cool. The cool vintage tee, the sandals, the comfy jeans...There's something about that which I think makes me cool in someone's eyes.

Okay, gotta take a little break before my head explodes...more later...

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Questions and mumblings...

So I've been sitting here the past couple of weeks since my family has returned home and have been a bit lax in writing, blog or otherwise. It's not that I haven't had thoughts and ideas but that time has been less than available. On top of that, the time that is available, sucks. But, here I am, a busy boy on a cool Saturday afternoon, sitting in our dark bedroom typing out some random thoughts because I just felt the need.

Anyway, I'm thinking that, for the zero of you who read this blog, and more importantly, for my perusal later on, that I might start engaging some questions point blank on here. Some of the questions which I intend to engage will be philosophical in nature. Others will deal directly with the world we live in. Others, only God knows where they'll come from and what they'll deal with. It's an idea I've garnered from this book I've been reading by Anthony De Mello, called Awareness. In it, he discusses a lot of things along the path to "waking up", and among them is the mystical art of self-examination.

So, that's it for now. I think I'm going to go shut down my brain for a while. Have a good one.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

So Lonesome I Could Cry...

Erin and Tyler are gone for a week or so and now, Saturday night, I'm really starting to miss them. I stand up to go get something and find myself restless, unsure of what to do. When they're around it always seems as though there's more of a plan, a goal. Tyler has to be put to bed, the dishes need to be done, Erin and I need to talk some things out. All that sort of stuff is missing when it's just me here on my lonesome. Sure, I've had some time to just breathe and this morning I slept into like 8:30, a watershed moment for me, especially since the advent of children in our lives. And yes, I've had some time to actually start writing again which is both a freeing and frightening process. But, still, all in all, I miss them. I ran across some pictures as I was cleaning today (yes, I was that out of it!) of Tyler and Erin and just sat mesmerized by how much I love them.

I forget how much I love them sometimes and that pains me. It's usually in those moments that I'm the biggest asshole on the planet, that I forget what truly matters. This week, however, has reminded me that I must not only see them as wife and son, but as Jesus and Christ. I must respond to them, respect them, and love them as I do Him. That's a daunting task but when I view it in that light, it definately changes things around a bit.

Friday, March 10, 2006

The Juices are Flowing...

So last night I finally sat down at this very keyboard and monitor and started to write again. At first, it was a little stunted, a little unnatural. But, then, slowly, the words began to flow and my fingers slid effortlessly around the keyboard, strumming out the quiet tale of my life. It was so liberating and, well, it just felt right. I've avoided writing for so long. Part of me is so afraid of what I'm truly going to be called to write, of the honesty and vulnerability that my writing is going to entail. The other side of me is just plain scared of rejection, of submitting a piece only to have it picked apart by a hardened editor who scoffs at my use of punctuation and insists that I not use so many run-on sentences because that's just bad grammar and sentence structure! I don't know. Either way, as epic as it sounds, I feel the call. And I must respond. Hope someone else acknowledges it and will buy this stuff....

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

So, so sorry...

I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry. I can't take it anymore. I can't deal with it anymore. These demons torment me. They tear at me, at the very fabric of my being, it seems and I just can't think straight. I hurt, and I hurt others. The path is futile and I stand outside of it and watch it all take form, molding itself into it's evil incarnation as I, as though in an out of body experience, feel powerless to stop it. It's as though I'm controlled from somewhere else. I lay it down now. I can't carry the damn burden any longer. It's yours. Do what you will with it. Do what you will with me. If you want to use me, use me. If you don't, that's fine too. It's all yours now. Just give me peace.