Ocean’s 37

It seems like every time I post in the last couple months, I’m apologizing for not posting very much. Even now, it’s been a few weeks since I last wrote anything here.

This time, I’m not apologizing, though I do think a bit of an explanation is in order.

Writing, for me, is a way of processing things . . . a way of thinking, pondering . . . becoming.

That’s not to say I haven’t been thinking, or pondering, or particularly becoming anything of late. To the contrary, I have a million or so different “potential posts” clamoring around inside my head.

I think, though, that I haven’t been quite as intentional about it as I am when I’m writing more. That is, I’ve just sort of “let myself” become . . . whatever it is that I’m in the process of becoming.

I don’t know if I like that, but the simple fact is that the process of being fully conscious and present in one’s decisions, choices and life is a wearing one . . . and lately, I’ve been feeling kind of worn out.

I was in Borders, the other day, paging through a Soren Kierkegaard book. I’ve always found his writing to be very, very profound (often too profound for me to grasp without a great deal of thought and processing . . . but the central premise of this book was very profoundly simple, and is summed up in its title, Purity of Heart is to will one thing.

Kierkegaard’s basic premise is that when we will only one thing, it must necessarily be good – because only the Good is truly “one.” Indeed, scripture has much to say about a “double-minded” man.

While double-mindedness is, at some level, the basic human struggle, I think there is another, more insidious battle going on in my mind – and not just mine.

If Purity of Heart is to will one thing . . . what is it to will nothing at all?

This, I think, is my battle. We Christians spend a lot of time on the seeming dichotomy between single- and double-mindedness, but what about those of us who struggle with desiring anything at all?

I think we Christians are all to eager, at times, to kill off our desires all together. I remember vividly a conversation with my best friend Nate on this topic, many years ago when I was much less conscious of the issue of deliberate choices that I have spent so much time writing and thinking about here. In this conversation we were both lamenting where our respective lives had taken us at the time, and despairing of their ever getting better. Something he said in that conversation struck me to the core, “Mike, I have such a hard time wanting anything . . . mostly because we were always taught that the wanting itself was a problem . . . if we truly want anything, it must be bad for us to have.”

There was a time when I truly believed that. Now I believe the opposite. I want to “will one thing” . . . no more, no less.

But I’m tired, and it’s no easy task I have set for myself. I am trying to process these and other thoughts, and when I do, you will hear about them.

Another part of it, for me, is what exactly I desire to write about. This conversation taking place online, in homes, and in some church buildings is an important one . . . it is important for us to investigate what and who we are as followers of Christ.

But I don’t want to merely repeat what I hear other people writing and talking about. I crave originality in my thoughts and writing. I find it maddening that when I go to a movie theater half of the fare available is comprised of sequels (even good ones like the one off of which this post’s title plays), and I find it maddening when the only thing I can think to actually post is “I saw a great post at so-and-so’s blog today . . . ”

So sometimes I just . . . don’t.

I’m working on some bits of actual originality that I want to share, but it’s slow going. I’ll keep you posted. Hopefully some stuff will be up in the next few days . . .

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