So. It's one of those nights where I look backward and then forward, I guess. A good activity to do after 1500 posts.
(For those of you hitting the "panic" button already, no, I'm not stopping the blog. We're not breaking up, don't worry. Heh.)
Last month, less than a week after Ike hit, a minor milestone was passed.
A little website called teacherdave.blogspot.com turned six years old. Woot, as the kids say.
What's happened in six years?
On the global front, two continuing American wars, countless terrorist attacks, one killer tsunami, several devastating earthquakes, a handful of terrible hurricanes, ongoing African genocide, the fall of Enron, the fall(-ish) of Wall Street, three congressional elections, one presidential election, all manner of technological advances, some really great TV, and three disappointing Cubs playoff runs.
(I'm sure there was other good stuff--that list is overwhelmingly negative. But we hang on to the bad things, don't we?)
On the personal front, a job lost, a relationship ended, a period in the wilderness of soul, a new job, three different apartments, four work trips, three-plus years of serving as a Sunday-School/"Life Group" leader, multiple family crises, around 100 pounds of weight gained, a vast array of worldly possessions acquired, more than 100 books read, and a great deal learned.
A lot. Six years seems long and short at the same time. But either way, it's full.
So what's on the horizon? Here's what I'm hoping for the next 6 years.
I'm going to keep blogging for the time being. I like it, you like it, it works. What may change is the tone. I want to be less negative. (Off to a great start, right?) Or at least, less hurtful. Maybe that doesn't always come through in my writing, but the negativity is certainly in my heart. Better start there. And I'm going to try to do some longer pieces from time to time, because i've gotten lazy as a writer. You don't mind the occassional editorial essay or theological exegesis, do you?
I'm going to keep serving at my church, as long as I'm asked to. I love it. It gives me a good sense of who I am and where I fit in the world. That role may change, things may shift, but that is where I belong--in God's house with God's people.
I'm going to get healthy. I am. Seriously. I haven't taken care of myself. Unchanged, this will serve to shorten my life. That will keep me from fulfilling the calling I've been given, so that has to change. I've talked a lot about getting healthy. I'm done talking.
I'm going to write. Another topic of much discussion and little action. Thanks to the inspiration and example of friends, I'm getting back to this love of mine. I will return to finish telling the Taylor House saga, but right now, the inspiration is with a collection of short stories I've been kicking around in my head. Genre fiction. I'm getting some new ideas, and continuations of old ones. I can't ignore this, it's too cool to pass by.
I'm going to heal. There are things in my mind and heart and soul that are broken and out of balance. I've let these issues go without dealing with them, and have gotten used to feeling afraid, ashamed, and unworthy. But I won't be able to be the man I'm called to be if I live my life feeling like a failure or an imposition on the world. So I'm going to get with God, with trusted friends, and possibly others, and work some of this stuff out.
I'm going to, Lord-willing, get a family of my own. Remember, we're talking six years here. Once I get some healing and deal with some things, I'm going to get serious about finding a wife. I believe that's God's will for me--some are called to singleness, I am not. So I have to be prepared for sharing the path with someone else. My finances, health, career, and personal habits need tweaking before that can happen, but I'm willing to do what it takes to get there. My second-deepest desire (after glorifying my Savior) is to be a husband and father. I want to see that through.
I'm going to pursue my calling. God has started pulling me in a new and unexpected direction, the last few months. I resisted it for a while, but I'm finally starting to surrender to it. I'll fill you in when the time comes, if it comes. I've got to lay out a few more fleeces and get a little more clarification, if possible, because I'm a second-guesser, especially when it comes to my own thought-processes. But I know that my life in less than 6 years may likely look very different than my life now. And that's a good thing.
So there you go.
I turn 28 in six days. When I started blogging, I was 21. By the time I'm 33-almost-34, who knows what the world will have gone through, or what I personally will have experienced? Who knows what the future holds?
...That's not a rhetorical question, by the way. I know the answer, and if you don't, let me know and I'll tell you.
This song has been in my head for a while. It pretty much sums up where I'm at right now. Enjoy.