All posts by Dan

May 9th, 2019

“Hmmmm.”

I’m not sure what to write. Can’t even come up with a snappy title (hence the date). But I’m committed to following through on a discipline (like blogging) whenever the motivation and the means are present…so here I am!

I’m always looking for connection, synchronicity, synergy – in a certain sense: order. Not a rigid, clinical kind. A natural, seamless kind of order that makes sense of things like the weather AND my mood simultaneously. An order that explains the state of geopolitics AND the politics going on at our local school board. I want to perceive and monitor the intermingling and interactions of all of Creation, from my own inner workings to the movement of the stars. I regularly sense the larger, cosmic machinery of the world clicking away, but at a tempo and of a scale that makes me wonder if I’m really sensing anything at all. After all, humans are amazingly proficient at pattern recognition, and historically adept at recognizing patterns that aren’t there at all.

People rush into claims of “prophecy” and “discernment” because they’ve become convinced that they are gifted. They have “vision” and they can perceive the times. Movements, nations, empires and holocausts have begun with the earnest conviction on the part of an otherwise functional human being that they see a pattern emerging, and so strive to engage with it…or resist it.

I feel the world pulling apart. Polarizing. I feel the cosmic machinery starting to rumble and grind and smoke as it begins to tear itself apart. I sense it at the smallest scale: those individuals around me. I sense it on the scale of region, and nation. I sense it globally and climatologicaly.

I see it in dying whales in Puget Sound. In dying glaciers in the Cascades. I see it in dying churches and dying families. I see it in dying people, found alone hunched over their bathtubs after 3 days; alcohol poisoning.

A hanging.

A 17 year old fentanyl overdose.

Another troubled child with nothing like a home to return to after another miserable day in the chaos of public school.

Lying and self-promotion are now lauded. The accepted response to a perceived slight is cowardly violence, verbal or otherwise. The only bigotry tolerated is for those accused of bigotry. The only intolerable: intolerance. Human life, from conception to senility, is nothing more then a construct.

It’s in the eyes and in the angst of my colleagues and friends who “feel it too”, who are struggling to find the way forward. It’s In the slack faces and dry eyes of our children, standing hopeless and unmoved. It’s in the hateful words spit from left and right. It’s in the presumption of guilt, the loss of dignity and the addiction to self.

But people have sensed all this before, and it has come to nothing…

Lord have mercy.

The Dissapointed

The words that bring stinging exhilaration still ring in my ears: “I’m disappointed”.

I think I’ve lost the ability to sort out what’s motivating me from moment to moment. I choose to see this, at least in part, as progress; a necessary deconstruction of my own motivations. It’s bound to be confusing and messy during demolition.

But it feels like it’s taking too long. The last 2 years or so have been largely defined by this liminal space:

Bored but busy.

Less motivated by the approval of others but otherwise unmotivated.

This has resulted in a lack of discipline. I’m overeating regularly and eating the wrong things. While I maintain a certain level of physical activity, it’s only because I have no car and I’m FORCED to walk or ride my bike (this supports the practice of radical action…”burn the ships!”, and all that). I’m not going to the gym, rarely working hard outside.

The offices do not draw me in. I usually have to force myself into them.

This blog and other contemplative activities are obviously hit and miss (mostly miss).

I write this from an Air B&B while on a 2 day personal retreat (the first I’ve had since June(?)

Part of me wants to take music more seriously, but again…I’m not feeling motivated.

The only things that seem to draw me are: Sleep (I really look forward to that!) food, poking around Ancestry.com, Imgur, getting the Applications curriculum done and Chaplaincy work…

O.k. wait. Suddenly I sound more “motivated” than I felt at the beginning of this post?!

So, I guess what’s happening is: my motivations are CHANGING.

Damn. That’s hitting close to a bull’s eye. I’m much less motivated by sexual desire (I have no reason to attribute this to anything but age…Brenda is more beautiful than ever and we are in a pretty good place).  While I want to see AC3 thrive, I just don’t care to see it become “bigger”…well, I don’t want to maintain my current role for a “big church”.

Part of what makes this confusing is that the core, difficult to articulate parts of being motivated by other’s approval are still there. I cannot deny, for example, that some of what makes the chaplain work motivating is that there’s a whole new crop of people I can seek to please.

Alright – enough. This is the theory I’m going forward with: God (and time) is doing work in me, the result of which (in part) is a change in what motivates me. During this period of transition, classic forms of distraction (sleep, food, etc.) as well as old mal-adaptive motives will inevitably be drawn into the vacuum until that space is taken up fully by the new motives.

It’s been about 10 years afterall…change is a-com’n.