Today is my birthday. Thirty-five. I’m on vacation in Branson, Missouri, which is quite possibly the most American place in the universe. I’m still in bed and Beth is still asleep-ish. I’m typing this on my phone.
I’m going to start blogging regularly again, and this time I’m gonna keep at it because for the first time in my blogging history, I have a plan.
Monday: Church of the week. I jump around to different churches every week. I’ve had people ask about it. So I’ll share.
Wednesday: What I’m reading. I made a New Year resolution to read one fiction and one nonfiction book a month (the ‘one’ is to slow down my fiction reading and encourage my nonfiction reading (which failed this month when I blew through the Hunger Games books in about four days).
Friday: Three things I’ve learned. I like learning, so I’ll share with you three things I’ve learned in the past week about God, the world, and myself.
These are the bare minimum. I may blog on the other days, but I think this is a doable commitment. I want to be more of a producer and less a consumer this year. so here goes.
Three Things I’ve Learned
1. In chapter 7 of the Gospel of Mark, Jesus says everything you consume eventually turns to shit. Your theology, your ritual…I suspect even your good works if you do them out of a sense of box-checking. He says it is what you are at your core is what really matters. And what are you to be at your core? A creature designed for deep and authentic living relationships with God and other people. If your theology, ritual, and efforts to do good things don’t draw you into closer relationships with God and others, they’re just shit.
2. Branson, Missouri is the most American place on the planet universe. Where can you see on a riverfront a light/water/fire show at an outdoor mall every hour on the hour accompanied by Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel” being piped in through speakers built right into the streetlights that illuminate the boardwalk? Motherfrakin’ Branson, Missouri, that’s where.
3. I have developed a new form in my humor repertoire: Self-appreciating humor. For example:
Beth: I’m already enjoying our vacation–just being in the car with you and having a conversation.
Me: I know. I’m pretty amazing at having conversations.
This is only funny if you know that I’m really not an arrogant prat who typically has not had the greatest self-esteem. Its actually a pretty healthy form of humor for me right now. Its a lot better than sarcasm and snark.