It has been too long. February and March came and went and here I sit, a third of the way through April and I haven’t taken the time to post. Ah well, such is life I guess. My internship keeps me busy, and I am loving every minute of it. The people who I am lucky enough to serve are nothing short of wonderful. Lent was a handful, but it is now ended and I am hoping in the coming months to get back to some kind of rhythm, both here and at the office.
As I lie here, knowing that my alarm will go off in a few short hours, I cannot seem to get a song out of my head, “Some Nights” by Fun. I’m not saying that it is the best song in the world, but it is catchy, and since the Blackhawks developed a scoreboard video using it, well, it gets a place in my playlist. What I appreciate about the song is the question it thrusts to the forefront, a haunting question, what do I stand for? It isn’t an easy question to answer. I know that once I do answer it someone will inevitably be pissed off by it. But that is the easy part, because I know that no matter what someone always will be upset. The hard part of that question, is answering it for, or rather to, myself.
I had thoughts recently of migrating from wordpress over to another format, though I don’t think that will actually happen anytime soon if ever. While I was planning on it, the place I was attempting to migrate to did not give me the option of simply importing all my posts, I had to copy and paste them one by one. Well, as mind numbing as that may be, it gave me a chance to look over some of my earlier writing. If you have the time to look at it, don’t. In saying this I do not believe I am being overly critical. Rather, I am being honest. As I read the words penned in a different frame of mind I am struck by how much I was speaking from a place of hurt. Pain and anger dripped from every single syllable. I stopped that process at about the fourth one, I couldn’t take it anymore.
It was a humbling experience. I was reminded of the fact that those who teach will be judged more harshly, and to be sure that judgment is warranted. It is hard for me to wrap my mind around some of the things that came out of my mouth. And yet, I know at the time I stood strongly behind it. I am certain that I would have fiercely defended my position, and more than that, would have been convinced of my correctness and written off opposition as ignorant. That is, after all, always my problem. Whether people see it in me or not, I know I am an arrogant cuss. I try to fight it, but for one reason or another it always, inevitably, comes out, and although I am not proud of that fact, I know it is true. Others may not see it, because I do well to hide it, or wait to express it until I am alone with my thoughts, but trust me, I know I am an arrogant cuss.
And so here I sit, unable to sleep, knowing I was wrong to write what I wrote in the past, certain that at the time I thought I was right, assured of my own arrogance which can be blinding, and waiting for the day I go back and read this one and feel the exact same way. But rather than be afraid of that, I am trying to embrace it. Because while it is true I am not the person I was 3 years ago, 2 years ago, heck, 2 weeks ago, I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. I know I have changed, I’ve cooled off my hot head somewhat, put those theological hand grenades back in my pocket rather than throwing them on the table, and came to grips with some truths about my presuppositions and beliefs. And rather than dwell on the fact that I may have lost some of my edge, some of what made me who I was, I feel like I have gained some perspective. I feel like maybe for the first time in a long time I have a pretty good idea of who I actually am and what I actually stand for.
In the end, I think that is what matters right now, that I know where I stand. For so long I felt pulled in different directions, I felt the need to justify my place and my beliefs and today I feel comfortable, secure even, in where I have landed. I am a Lutheran, a moderately conservative one at that, and while those words may or may not seem loaded to you, they are not the easiest ones for me to type out. Because that label was so loaded with pain and anger, I did all that I could to avoid it. But I can’t avoid it anymore. I can’t pretend that I am still that guy I was three years ago. I won’t apologize for coming to terms with what was once my enemy. And who knows, maybe one day I will wake up and take this post back, recant it all because I came to some new realization.
But it’s ok. I dont need to know now if that will be the case later on because right now, in this moment, I can take comfort in the fact that my identity, security, and meaning do not stem from my fickle temperament and feelings. They rest solely and securely in the reality that in my baptism as an infant I was given an identity. I was given a faith in God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I was sealed, adopted, promised of my place for eternity, not because I thought it was a good idea at the time, but because God did what God does best. And that is the hope I can take with me. That is the hope that ensures that no matter what else I may become, I was first and will forever be, a baptized child of God. No matter what assails me, this is my identity, this is what I stand for. Or perhaps better put, this is what stands for me.