endings are beginnings are endings

I like to read.
A lot.
Books mostly.

 

I have this reading habit in which I will fixate on a particular subject, author, or genre and go with it for awhile. Maybe everyone does this. I went through a Russian literature phase once where I ended up reading pretty much everything Tolstoy wrote. Weird dude. I am the owner of a small collection of books on serial killers. (I say small collection as if the lack of size makes it any less taboo.) And I once spent a year reading everything I could on Calvinism. I am no closer to understanding Calvinism, but starting to think most Calvinists have read more John Piper than the actual Institutes.

 

I am currently on a survival story kick.
Dahmer Party.
The whaleship Essex
The rugby team trapped in the Andes
Taking a closer look at this list makes me wonder if I am more specifically going through a cannibalism phase.

 

Occasionally I will waste money on a GQ magazine because I think reading it will make up for my lack of style.

 

Short stories are my favorite though.
They’re simple, to the point and don’t take up a lot of time.
Hemmingway for the sad stuff.
Hawthorne for the time period.
Poe for the horror.
Lovecraft for the tentacles.
Irving when it’s Fall.
Chekhov when you only have 2 minutes.
Fitzgerald just to name drop.
And throw in some King for the fact that he is, for lack of a better word, the king.

 

Time stops for no one and my life can be a busy one. I live out of a suitcase most of the time and I think I love short stories for their brevity. Sometimes I need a good beginning, middle and end in one sitting.
 Especially the end.
I like to be reminded that, good or bad, seasons can and do end.

 

But blogs though. Blogs are strange. Blogs are normally pretty short and readable in a single sitting. Many can be entertaining and informative. But I’ve never really read a lot of blogs.

 

They leave a bad taste in my mouth.

 

More often than not they’re overly opinionated with a one sided viewpoint that reeks of pretentiousness.
I have already said some pretty ostentatious things about Calvinists.
And I just used the word “ostentatious”.
If this is a stereotype then I am just perpetuating it.

 

But I guess most blogs, by design, are just opinion pieces that are uploaded to the biggest source of outspoken diatribe in the world, the Internet.

 

They seem to be unable to exist in any form other than divisive.

 

Also there seem to be this double standard that says if you present your opinions in blog form it is more legit or holds more value and weight than the person who is presenting those same opinions in a Facebook comment on a post they disagree with. To me this is what gives birth to the online snobbery that seems to overlay most blogs. As if the platform is what gives value to the words. Which is like saying there is more value in teaching the bible if you have a pulpit with a seminary degree nailed to it than if you were just sharing your faith with someone in a coffee shop.
As a youth pastor myself I know personally that an official church title doesn’t add any extra truth to the Truth.
But I don’t have a seminary degree so maybe that’s my problem.

 

Perhaps there is some justification in the prestige of a blog because writing your own blog means you are going at it at your own risk and not at the risk of someone else’s opinion on their social media page.

 

You’re willing and open to be the target.

 

I don’t know.

 

Maybe you can already tell that my mind doesn’t sit in one place for very long.
I don’t feel that I have correct opinions or that my words are more important than anyone else’s.
I’m not a wordsmith.
I don’t consider myself to be entertaining.
But I have too many thoughts and I often find myself drowning in them and after years of thinking about having a blog I am caving in to have a place to stash the surplus of my brain.

 

I could just buy a journal. But journals make less sense to me than blogs.
I see no point in writing down my thoughts in a book that only I can read. I already know my thoughts. Those thoughts, ideas, opinions, etc…can’t be challenged if they’re locked up in a journal under my mattress with a key hidden in my sock drawer.

 

After all there is nothing that is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light.
Or so I believe.
Maybe the bible isn’t your thing.
That’s ok.

 

People often think of me as mysterious.
And I used to just run with it and think that was good.
That’s my thing.
But it’s not.
I wasn’t designed to be a secret.
I think there is beauty in transparency and that people resonate with honesty. As long as it is indeed honest. And I plan on being honest.
If I can’t be as open and honest about my flaws and doubts and philosophies to the point that I could risk losing friends, respect of my peers or even my job in ministry than what is the point?
These are not my goals or things that I am striving for.
But this blog is an exercise in removing my mask.
To step outside of whatever game I find myself caught up in.
To be vulnerable.

 

It’s already been weird writing this.
It will be even weirder promoting this but I’m not trendy enough to hide my desire for people to read this.
I want people to read this.
I plan to write weekly.
Doing so will be an exercise in discipline so feel free to rebuke me if 8 days go by with out a new post.
Feel free to comment on anything I write and challenge anything I say. I’m open to it. I welcome it. And that is not from a place inside me that desires for this to be an online fight club. I don’t want that.
But because I love for my way of thinking to be questioned.
I’ve always found better company in those who don’t think what I think.
It helps sort out the filing cabinets of my head.
It weeds out what shouldn’t be there and strengthens what should.

 

If nothing else I hope this blesses you in some way. Whatever that looks like to you.

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