Apologia: Fighting Windmills

images-1Did you ever see “Bruce Almighty?” If you did you may remember that scene where Bruce is asking for a sign from The Almighty while driving down the highway in a somewhat despondent state. As the scene plays out a utility vehicle filled with STOP and YIELD signs pulls in front of him. While the reality is never quite that direct, there really are moments than can, if we listen in those quite hours of the night, slap us right in the face.

This very thing happened to me while building this blog and testing the waters with posts to various social media sites… What was intended as a personal soapbox  to voice my personal frustration with illiteracy, innumeracy, and my perception of stupidity, was revealed for what it really was: a despicable display of hubris. While dealing with the often vitriolic responses, and thinking to myself “People like doing this?“, apparently I needed a little more nudging to change course.

My wife was browsing through some blogs she enjoys and found some healthy advice about avoiding fights with windmills at bravewriter.com. This particular read would not have hit me so hard had it not been for both the above experience and the events the very next day (1-Sep-2013).

Neither my wife or I are particularly religious people. We hadn’t been to church pretty much since Easter, let alone open a Bible. We have been having our own little crisis of faith, but our youngest boy was asking why we hadn’t been to church and for some reason we felt a need to open the missal on this particular Sunday while sitting at the breakfast table.

In particular, the first reading hit me like a ton of bricks:

My child, conduct your affairs with humility, and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts. Humble yourself the more, the greater you are, and you will find favor with God. What is too sublime for you, seek not, into things beyond your strength search not. The mind of a sage appreciates proverbs, and an attentive ear is the joy of the wise. Water quenches a flaming fire, and alms atone for sins.  – Sir 3:17-18, 20, 28-29

This was my “slap in the face.” And while you may not be a particularly religious person, either, there is a profound wisdom in the passage. What it meant to me was that I needed to rethink this blog in its entirety.

I don’t want to fight windmills (a waste of the few short years we really have in this life), nor do I want this blog to be a “me-fest.” But at the same time I feel like I have so much to say, so much to teach. So the essential questions are: “For whom am I writing this?” and “Why am I writing this?” Hopefully the About page will explain this further.

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