Okay, so this blog entry is not meant to be political but I thought this cartoon was funny.

Mainly though, I just wanted to share why I haven't posted in quite a while. Writing here was giving me a lot of joy. It was fun to articulate things I was wrestling with and to receive comments from people who could possibly sharpen me. That joy started to become a bit of an obsession and the idea that I was sharing MY thoughts began to cause me to be a bit prideful. I began neglecting other things because I "had to do my blog entry." This is a pattern I have struggled with many times in my life.

I have spent my life making excuses. By this I am not necessarily just saying that I tried to come up with explanations of why I did something or why I didn't or why something happened. It wasn't even about pushing the blame onto circumstances or other people. Although, those things were all a part of it, the underlying reason I lived by excuses (and have died by them too) was because I felt I could always justify myself. I was always right. Even when it was clear I was in the wrong, I would find points where I was right (according to me) and focus on those. I would find anything to distract me from the things I just simply didn't want to do / didn't value / found unimportant / etc.

For much of my adult life, I have especially used spirituality for this end. If I didn't do the paperwork I was supposed to do... I would make the person confronting me guilty by saying (and usually honestly) that I was busy meeting with someone / praying / studying scripture / preparing a talk / etc. I thought all of those things far more important than paperwork and phone calls and e-mails and ... you get the picture. And, it's true, they are. Ultimately, God is not going to ask us if we (and I will use a Young Life reference here) got our greensheets in on time. God is not going to focus on whether or not I wrote my paper for my high school English class. God will not particularly care if I call you back the next day / next week / next month. God's focus is on eternal things and God calls us to focus on them as well.

So, I used this thinking and categorizing as a cop-out and excuse for not doing things that I placed little or no value in. The problem is, there are eternal elements in everything we do. I just didn't like that thought so I distracted myself from the theology of work by using (like a heroin addict) relationships (a good thing), prayer (a good thing), and the study of scripture (a good thing). The lesson though is that every good thing, when used inappropriately, becomes a bad thing. I have paid some dear consequences for my perverse use of spirituality. This blog began to become a distraction... an excuse... rather than a blessing (which it has the potential to be) in my life. My little break has given me a chance to hopefully re-focus.

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