The Confessional


 

Confession: I am a chronic over thinker

It’s been a pathetically long time since my last update here. I hope you understand: no news means either no change, or I’m tired of talking / thinking about it for the time, but will come around and let my prayer & encouragement partners know how they best pray for and support me. Even longer ago was my last submission to the confessional section of this site (where I’ve disclosed such scandolous objects of desire as Sno-Cones and Corn Dogs). So, in the spirit of intentional laziness, let’s hit them both at the same time. (more…)

…I have always been, and remain, a brazen and unrepentant Wanderluster.  Especially during these dreary Pacific Northwest overcast days, the memories of adventures past (and ones that never came to be) haunt me.  It doesn’t help when I spent half my summer in medical facilities, either.  Nor does the prospect of having to renew my passport, which burns with the exotic colors and designs of stamps from so many fun places I’ve been privileged to see during a very fun 10 years.  So much adventure to taste, so little time and money to do it with…

So what’s a chronic Wanderluster to do?  (more…)

Every Christian I know is a hypocrite.

I am a Christian.  I, too, am a hypocrite.  (more…)

I haven’t eaten McDonald’s food in years, but I really want a Big Mac. Since that fateful day I first watched the documentary Super Size Me, I have had no interest in putting anything McD’s-related into my body (one exception: an ice-cream cone I got on a road trip).  Not that I’m cold-turkey on fast-food or anything, but this company in particular has made a practice of growing its business in spite of the best interests of its customers and their communities.  My simple, solitary act of defiance against this unethical style of growth, is to simply not shop there…

…And, yet, my mind remembers that Big Macs are really good.  The fries, with those little ketchup packets, are really good.  My brain knows what goes into them (or doesn’t know, which is scarier yet), and my heart doesn’t want to support this company, but the other parts want me to stop by, throw down the $3, and enjoy some Special Sauce – induced happiness.  Just one won’t hurtThen you can start your little boycott again.  All those other people in line at the drive-in can’t all be wrong.

“”Everything is permissible for me”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”—but I will not be mastered by anything. “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food”—but God will destroy them both.”  — I Corinthians 6:12,13

Awfully funny thing, sin.  We were designed to reject it, to embrace its antithesis, and to walk in holiness with our Creator.  And yet, like with my little friend with the bun in the middle, our thoughts, hearts, and actions keep taking us back to its alluring golden arches. 

“I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.”– Romans 7:18-20

Anger.  Jealousy.  Self-pity.  Gossip.  Lust.  More lust.  Miscellaneous dumb choices.  What is it about these awful, regrettable things that keeps drawing me back?  I know I’m a better man for rejecting them, and, when I do, I clearly see God’s hand working in my life and in others’.  I despise the path these things take me down, and desperately long for the path they take me from.  It seems so silly, that there’s even a discussion to be had…

Volumes of books, and pages of choruses have been written about the nature of sin, and maybe someday I’ll get to read those.  In the meantime, I’ve just got 32 years of field-tested research to go on.  And, at the end of it all, here’s what I’ve got:

(a) I’m at my best when actively searching for, and listening to, the voice of God (read: daily disciplines of prayer, study, worship)

(b) I’m at my worst when other factions have the opportunity to present their case (read: undisiplined life, just waking up and doing stuff)

(c) When I haven’t intentionally let the Holy Spirit run my thought life each day, those other guys’ case starts looking really good, because they’ve got a really good marketing department (read: lies, deceipt, illusions)

(d) I like sin.  But I love Jesus.  But sin makes me forget that.  So I have no choice but to hate sin, even when I don’t want to.

Finally, I confessed all my sins to you
      and stopped trying to hide my guilt.
   I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.”
      And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.
  – Psalm 32:5

I feel quite sorry for a certain unnamed pop singer (whose last name rhymes with “beers”).  In an effort to avoid massive Google-fueled spam, I won’t mention this person by name, but there’s a woman who has been in…no, has saturated the news this year.  Every news channel in the world has carried her face in the past year or two, and it’s usually not for anything particularly worth our time (unless all-night drunken binges are your primary focus, in which case, I stand corrected).  The news today was about a drug-fueled loss of custody rights, and a general continuation of the train wreck that we just all wish would go away…

And, yet, I can’t help but wonder…with that life experience, how would any of us have turned out?  Can you imagine a childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood, where you never once experienced rejection?  Every person in your life fed you a constant message of infallibility, telling you that you were beautiful, talented, and could do no wrong.  And you, of course, believed them, even if some part of you also knew that most of them were only hanging around to profit off all those things.  You were taught to forego your conscience and values, in exchange for success and fame.  While the images and messages you sent out to the world were clearly unhealthy for a whole generation of young girls, you just really didn’t care, because you were getting all that you felt you were entitled to.  And, by the time the world started trying to tear you down, you had enough money and influence to do what you wanted, when you wanted, and nobody could (or tried to) tell you otherwise.

A child services worker I met last summer told me, “I’ve never met a bad kid; just lots of bad parents.”  Though this unnamed pop singer clearly occupies much more of our attention than is necessary, it would be great to get one more piece of news across my computer or TV screen:  word that Br***** S****s has given up her need to be famous, and has let the Wonderful Counselor give her the affirmation she and too many young women today so desperately crave.

Cupcakes.  Let’s be honest: you just smiled a little bit reading the word “cupcake.”  Something about a little piece of cake, wrapped in that crinkly little paper, smeared with some messy frosting, and often sprinkled with yet more sugary goodness…well, there are so few times as adults we’re given direct portals to childhood.  A good cupcake takes me back to birthday parties, holidays, or days when Mom just felt like being Supermom.  Today, I received a plate of cupcakes.  This was a good day…

 (Oh, I’m sorry, were you looking for whimsical, insightful profundities?  That department closed early today.  There were cupcakes in the break room.)

Corn dogs.  Yes, yes…anything you’re about to say, I already know.  Saturated fat.  Oil.  Whatever goes into hot dogs.  They’re totally not good for me, and probably take hours off my life each time I have one…

 …Yet have one I must.  They’re just so good.  Plus, my unscientific theory is that things taste better on sticks.

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