It’s time to fire up the machine once again! – Jim Rome
That’s right, your favorite crazy blogger is back – considering it my grand re-opening after a major emotional/spiritual remodeling. And this time (Lord willing) I’m back for good!
Some of you will recall that I had to take several months off between August 2009 and March 2010 to deal with a slew of crises in my family, none of which I caused (for once) but all of which impacted me and commandeered most of my time and energy. (If you don’t recall, you can click here for a quick review.) I came back in March to re-connect with you, my loyal (or at least tolerant) readers, and managed to crank out a full update on what had been happening, before dropping like a shot pigeon in May of exhaustion caused by … well, all of the above. And the way I was feeling, I didn’t know when I’d be able to come back.
Until yesterday, when a man I’ve never met gave me a well-placed kick in the tush.
Said man’s name is Jeff Dunn, the administrator of and occasional contributor to the late Michael Spencer’s Internet Monk blog (which I’ve referred to numerous times). Yesterday, he dropped a post detailing his own struggle to pursue what God was calling him to in the coming months, and how he needed to push past his own fear in order to pursue it. All well and good. But then two factors conspired to hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks:
- the area into which Mr. Dunn will be traveling, and
- the Holy Spirit’s silent work in my own heart.
What God has been calling Mr. Dunn to is to create a community for Christian artists who don’t fit the usual categories of “approved art” in standard evangelical circles. As the author of an as-yet-unpublished novel that I once described as a “quasi-medieval/post-apocalyptic romance with religious overtones but no Four Spiritual Laws-type conversion experiences,” I definitely fit his demographic.
At the same time, the Holy Spirit has been slowly causing me to realize something that I’ve known for a long time without being fully conscious that I knew it – namely, that what God has created me to be (among other things) is a writer.
Now, I’ve often had trouble thinking of myself that way because I was trapped in what, for lack of a better term, I’ll call “vocational thinking.” The basic mindset of “vocational thinking” isn’t even “you are what you do”; it’s “you are what you get paid to do.” If you have a farm and you grow lettuce on it, no matter how much poetry you write or how good it is, to the world you’re a lettuce farmer. If you hate selling computer software, but do it in order to support your dreams of table tennis stardom, to the world you’re still a software salesman. To the world, I am a stay-at-home dad/full-time caregiver for my disabled son … who happens to write an occasional blog entry or bit of fanfic.
But God doesn’t see things as the world sees them, and He is supposed to be my Lord, not the world. What I realized as I read Mr. Dunn’s article was how God sees *me*, and what He has created me to do (whether I ever receive a paycheck for it). And that is to write.
So I’m going to be writing again. Whether I think I have the energy or not – though I will admit to feeling better than I have in months. Whether anyone takes notice or not – though I hope they do, as I do still like interacting through my writing, and I do still like attention. Whether it has any positive impact on the world or the church – though I can hope. I am a writer. For God’s sake (and my own sanity), I need to live that.
And here’s where I make a commitment to you, the reader. (Clearing my throat …)
I plan to make every effort to write something here, on this blog – Ray Anselmo, Professional Outsider – every day.
That’s what I’m aiming for – a daily contribution of “content” (as they say in new-media circles) at this site, for your edification, entertainment, challenge, scorn, whatever. Even if it’s just a little off-the-top-of-my-head snippet, I aim to be here at least once per day to deliver it. I know I’ll miss a few down the line, but my goal will still be a minimum of one entry daily that’s well-thought-out, properly spelled and punctuated, interesting on some level, and too long to fit in a Twitter feed. (Honestly, can you imagine me trying to say anything with a 140-character limit?!? Guffaw!) That’s my promise to you.
So watch this space for:
- Views on the American church, what’s right about it, what’s wrong with it and how it might be fixed,
- Family life, middle-aged romance, and middle age in general,
- Dealing with disabilities and illness (though I will try to keep it upbeat),
- The World Cup, the NBA draft, and baseball, baseball, baseball (if you want NASCAR insights, you’re in the wrong place),
- Basic horticulture,
- … And whatever else comes tumbling out of my crowded and disorganized brain.
I can’t guarantee I’ll always be right. I can’t guarantee I’ll always break new ground. I won’t guarantee we’ll always agree. But I can guarantee I’ll be here, until God tells me to shut it down or just removes me from planet Earth entirely. I’m back in the saddle, until my horse gets shot out from under me. Let’s ride!
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(PS: if you have a subject you’d like me to address, drop me a suggestion; I’d appreciate it. I don’t claim to have all the great ideas …)