“Do You Want To Delete This Blog?”

Yes. I had that screen open in the blogger template.

Yes. I had backed up everything to a secret blog address that only I would have access to.

Yes. I had begun to sign up for another address to carry on blogging, this time in secret. Just a youth pastor’s view of the world with no city identifier, no name, no other way to find out who it was. Folks would have to accidentally come across that blog.

I was THAT close to clicking the orange “Yes” button. The result of that action would be that when you logged in a screen would tell you that blog had been deleted, or maybe you should check the address you typed in for accuracy. I figured I’d be answering a bunch of questions at church with the following phrase: “I just decided to delete it.”

No explanation beyond that.

Obviously, I didn’t…or you wouldn’t be this far along right now.

See, I had a short fuse yesterday.

A VERY short fuse yesterday. Truth be told, I’ve had a very short fuse for some time now. The reasons are legion.

And, reading the comments over the last few days by various “anonymous” writers really set me off. The reasons are legion.

And, I started asking myself why I put up with the public scrutiny this blog brings. I mean, if I didn’t blog and simply journaled it’s no-muss, no-fuss. I go about my life and you guys can do something much more productive than check in here daily. It seemed so win-win.

Then I’m staring at the orange “YES” button. One click away.

Flash back to a coffee I was having at a downtown Starbucks with one of my former students a couple of months ago. I’d gone on a mini-rant about why I still believed I had a place in the long term ministry at Crossroads. Somewhere in the mini-rant I mentioned that part of my role was to be an “agent of change.” I really used that phrase. Sorry ’bout that.

The former student reminded me of how long my tenure at my church has been and then asked me, “How’s that ‘agent of change’ thing workin’ out for ya after over a decade of trying?”

We both laughed. It seemed SOOOO futile. There haven’t been many visible, tangible results, man.

Back to yesterday: Reading those comments reminded me that it SEEMS futile. And there isn’t a lot of reason to believe that there will ever be many visible, tangible results, man.

And driving up 75 to 635 to 2499 to the office after that coffee with a former student, I reminded myself that it wasn’t about the results, man. It was about not being pretentious. It was about being authentic and real. It was about living your life for an Unseen Audience of One while at the same time sharing that reality for others so they might be encouraged by it in some small way. It was about so many things that had nothing to do with the masses coming around to my way of thinking. Or whether or not they “got” me or “understand” me.

No.

Not at all.

So…

…if I want to quote a nice set of words from the morning newspaper about our president-elect to remind us that our rhetoric might be doing more harm than good …
…if I find Christian retail establishments to be not only bad retail establishments but also serving up pablum when folks need steak…
…if I want to laugh at myself for filling up our family’s minivan while wearing my Social Distortion shirt…
…if I want to tell my daughters how proud I am of them…
…if I want to refer to my wife as “smokin’ hot”…
…if I want to brag on my neices & nephew (now nephews!)…
…if I want to highlight a silly sign I see in my own church bookstore or a stupid sign outside a local church or synagogue or day care…
…if I want to talk about how much I’m annoyed by yard work or lousy Texas weather or lack of fall colors where I live…
…if I want to giggle about a movie nobody else thinks is funny…
…if I think that country music is awful and the Violent Femmes are horribly underrated…
…if I want to discuss the beauty of a hammock and a great dog sitting in it with me…
…if I want to dress for comfort rather than to fit somebody else’s view of fashion…
…if I want to give a hard time to a Christian radio station for being “safe for the whole family” because I don’t see Christ saying too terribly much about anything that might be referred to in relation to Him as “safe”…
…if I want to chat about my new tattoo (which is coming SOON)…
…if I want to ask you to pray for my friend…
…if I want to expose parochial and myopic interpretations of Scripture when I see them…
…if I want to hammer away at suburban homogeneity…
…if I want to whine about my college football team…
…if I want to, in Stavesacre’s words, get under your skin while I’m crawling out of mine…
…if I want to live a life of grace rather than be a slave to legalism…
…if I want to rattle on and on and end it with “I could go on”…

…well…

I will.

And if it offends your sensibilities…I’m okay with that.

Because it’s real.
It’s honest.
It’s what I’m thinking at that moment in time (which, when you’ve done this daily for the better part of 5 years, well, I’ve gone back and forth on a lot of issues).
It’s a way for you to get to know me better.
It’s a way for you to think differently about some things.

Whether or not you agree.

That’s not the point at all.

The point is that I’m not through being an agent of change. And this little platform gives me a chance to be the worst-case scenario of the First Amendment. You can take the boy out of the punk rock, but you can’t take the punk rock out of the boy. I’m still finding that there’s a lot of holes to poke and balloons to burst and foundations to shatter. And I’ll take ’em on one at a time.

But I won’t let droning asinine anonymous commenters put an end to this. Oh, I may end this thing one day. But it’ll be on my terms, honey. For my reasons. At least the commenters who disagree and sign their name challenge me & encourage me. I like that. The Diner is more a two-way street than I often admit.

I can tell you this, though…

As I sat in a Ft. Worth coffee shop, I became livid with myself for even letting them get as far as to get me to consider pushing the orange “YES” button. Be careful when you light the short fuse, kids. You might just reinvigorate the resolve while you expose your own ignorance or parochialism or myopia. That’s a two-way street, too.

But I won’t go nearly as quietly as pushing an orange “YES” button. Nope.

Because I want to know and be known. Whatever the cost may be. And I can only hope it’s helped you a little bit along your journey in some small, real way. Because, I can assure you if I didn’t feel like it were helping you in some small, real way,

…AND ME…in some small, real way, with my short fuse, ignorances, predjudices, parochialism and mypic worldviews–which I have mass quantities of in spades, man…

…well, I would indeed hit the orange “YES” button.

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