Rebirth is a good time to start a blog. A rebirth is a beginning, which is the best place to start a story. And anything that’s been reborn is bound to be interesting.
Perhaps shaving off my beard doesn’t seem like much of a rebirth. But being clean-shaven after twelve years of face-fuzz is not only traumatic in itself, but it comes at one of those points in life that resets the calendar, like graduation, or marriage, or the birth of your first child. Or a career change.
I had an English degree. I still do – they don’t usually take them back. But there’s no money in English, so I got into title work. When the housing market peaked and dived in 2008, my livelihood peaked and dived with it. I had a family to feed, so I went back to school and got a master’s degree in accounting, finishing this last August. As it turns out, the accounting profession (and those who make use of it) frown upon facial hair.
I now look fifteen years younger than my age, I have no chin, and I have traded a right-brain activity for a left-brain activity.
There are parts of the old me still here – the part of me yearning to express himself with the written word, for instance – but I imagine other parts of me are being left behind, mostly for the better. They’re the parts that allowed me to choose an English degree when what I really wanted was to provide for a family, and the parts that struggled most with loving my neighbors and showing mercy rather than demanding sacrifice.
That last part – mercy over sacrifice – will probably be the main thrust of this blog, because this rebirth is not only helping me to know the difference, but it’s forcing my family to live in subjection to it. Some friends and family have demanded sacrifice for the choices I’ve made, and others have performed acts of mercy that are allowing my family to survive while I search for work. The battle-lines between the two camps are drawn in interesting places, most notably by age, but more on that in another post.
I’m not a preacher or a Bible scholar. But I do have a love for everything paradoxical in God’s creation, most notably Christ Himself and the life He demands of us. The left-brain right-brain hash in my head – that tug-of-war created by two callings that have little to do with each other – prompts me to connect things not normally connected to see if they stick. Sometimes they won’t. Sometimes I might be like a child with a glue stick, trying to paste together things that bond only until I stop pressing them together with my hands. When they stick, we can marvel together, and when they don’t, you can stop me before I go blue in the face with effort.
The name of this blog is taken from a line by C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity. The phrase takes what I hope will remain the outlook of this blog and fits it into a nutshell, or better yet, a mustard seed. At the very least, I hope to chronicle the “evolution” (striped of everything Darwinian) of a renewed mind, a new man baptized by a set of hair clippers and a razor.
God works in mysterious ways.