Resetting the purpose…again

From the Moveable Type blog, January 3, 2008.

Editorial note from 2013:  This post is here primarily for historical completeness; while I’m not porting every last rant and way-too-emo music post from old blogspaces, I honestly don’t feel like a picture of me circa 2008 is complete without this.  This is one of the most immature pieces I have ever written, and I hate reading it five-plus years on, but if I’m being the proverbial open-book, it’s an honest statement of where I was – emotionally and spiritually – at the time.

As I’m typing out this post, in the typical before-semester lull, a song has come up on my random mp3 shuffle. The song is exactly 1:11 in length. It’s by Resurrection Band, from their 1995 album Lament (in many ways the best thing that the old-skool Christian rock outfit has ever done). The song is called “Parting Glance.”

These are the lyrics of “Parting Glance”, in full:

I don’t believe
Not in you
Not in us
Nor in this place

Thoroughly appropriate for this season, that. Not with places or employment or belief systems, mind you – but people and situations.

I’m realizing that I aspire to use this space for a real purpose – that I aspire to be a blogger who has a clear and dedicated mission, and that I want to be somebody who can deliver the goods on a regular, disciplined basis. (Dean Dad quotes Steve Martin in yesterday’s missive: “The consistent work enhanced my act. I learned a lesson: It was easy to be great. Every entertainer has a night when everything is clicking…What was hard was to be good, consistently good, night after night, no matter what the abominable circumstances.” He calls it something of a “blogger’s credo”. It’s probably applicable to more than that.) I’m also realizing that I have no clue right now what that purpose is, and that the visions I might have are clouded by my own anger.

Make no mistake: Right now I am very angry. Not at any one person, or any group of people, necessarily, although obviously there have been influences and there have been breaking points. But what makes me most angry is the dark, dark realization that people will let me down, and there is nothing I can do to change that.

It’s the latter part of that realization that makes me angriest. The former I’m fine with. I’ve known that we’re all broken people for a very long time. But part of my M.O. for the longest time has been with sufficient intervention, or sufficient encouragement, or sufficient something-or-other, I could change people’s brokenness by the sheer force of my will. It is being impressed upon me, repeatedly, that I’m not the guy who can do that sort of thing. That’s not an easy realization to reach, and it is inducing all kinds of emotional response.

Whatever happens here has been reduced to personal journaling for some time now. It will probably continue to be so. I’m still trying to work out what is breaking in my mind, and how it fits within this Christian-academic life that I still feel called to lead, more forcefully than before (if that’s possible). As it’s appropriate to make those thoughts publicly available for feedback, I will do so.

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