Day 29/Forever (wink, wink Mrs. Carol)
Getting close to the end of this 30 day challenge and I thought I’d reflect a little on what I’ve experienced.
First, thank you. Your kindness and support have been overwhelming. I’ve reconnected with teachers, coaches, and old friends from past lives long forgotten. The insecurity I had to start has devolved right back into my default overconfidence. Congratulations. You’ve created a monster.
I found that if I set aside the time, turned off the television (or at least muted it) and put the computer in my lap, the words would come. I guess I’m just angry enough or cynical enough or sappy enough that if I sat still long enough, something loving or at least triggering ended up on the paper.
Isaac Morehouse, our guest on the podcast a couple weeks ago, said in a talk where I first met him that creating content is s superpower. Probably because it sets us most squarely in the image of our creator. But just like anything worthwhile, it takes practice and willpower. It may mean getting up an hour earlier or closing Facebook. But the internet has provided so many easy ways to create meaningful content that we really don’t have any excuse not to.
Creativity is a learned skill. It’s fostered by nurturing a lifestyle of noticing. That requires slowing down, smelling the roses, going for a walk in the woods, or visiting the local museum. It requires practicing stillness and sabbath; basically all the stuff the Bible tells us to do. In Atomic Habits, James Clear talks about the power micro habits. If you want to write a book, start by writing a paragraph a day. He also talked about tying those habits to triggers. If you want to work out more, do 2 pushups every time you go to the bathroom. Maybe not IN the bathroom but you get the idea.
This 30 day challenge has been my bathroom pushups.
I realized my writing is sharper than my speaking. I value relationships so much that in person I tend to be less direct and more consensus building. Writing allows me to be straightforward and frank. Certainly a lot of that freedom comes from not working in a church. And the great thing about reading over a face-to-face interaction is that you can always just stop, or even unfollow without the awkwardness of leaving mid-conversation.
A lot of folks have asked if I’d keep writing and the answer’s yes, but.
Yes, but I’m going to cut back to once a week. I spent some time today setting up an Armchair Theology email newsletter and hope to have a link to it tomorrow. We’re calling it Sermon on the Couch ba-dum-tsh. It’ll have my blog, best bios, a link to that week’s show, and probably pictures of Ross’s dog, Doc.
Yes, but I’m looking for opportunities to turn this into some kind of side income. The reality is this has been a huge time commitment that my family has been very gracious in giving. But they like to eat. And while I certainly hope this may open doors in the future, they’re hungry now. They’re pretty much hungry always. So I’m flipping houses, guest preaching, and considering what it might look like for me to plant a church or take an appointment. We’re not going to charge for the Sermon on the Couch but if you know anyone at the local newspaper’s religion column, put in a good word for me.
This exercise has given me space to process some really meaningful questions at the intersection of 1st century faith and 21st century life, just what it means ideally to be the Church, how we’ve gotten so far from that ideal, what we should do to get back, and what my role in all of that should be.
Thank you for processing with me.