Pressing Embarassment

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Invented in 1440, the printing press changed the world. Before the press, a book was hard to come by and expensive. Much less reading a book, touching and holding a book. A library was a storehouse of books. All of which were one of a kind or hand copied.

Rare one of a kind treasures.

Between 1440 and 1500, the world went from these few rarities to twenty million volumes. By the end of the 1500’s there were potentially 200 million volumes.

Literacy was suddenly on the rise. People everywhere had access to the volumes being printed.

Eventually, volumes turned shorter and shorter. Magazines and newspapers were born. They started adding pictures and figured out how to reproduce images.

Children would stay up way too late. Reading books. These books would leave an imprint on a child’s face if they fell asleep reading. A 16th century Facebook I guess.

Parents were concerned for their children’s safety. All this reading and media they were consuming. It would eventually have to turn to something evil and rot the brains of these young innocent minds.

It all seems so silly now to think about. How could reading too much or staying up reading a book ruin a child?

If only there were a good analogue to today’s culture. What do you think they will look back at us and laugh about?

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On Writing

Over the course of the last eight months I have had moments where it has been hard to come up with topics to write about. I don’t think of this because I want to end my blog, I think of this because I do not want to stop writing. I like writing. It has become a discipline for me to force myself to dig into who I am. Writing has caused me to take time to reflect and dig into how I work. I have found cobwebs in closets needing to be cleaned out. I have found golden nuggets from my childhood. I have found all sorts of different items I am so happy to have dug into. Though not every word has been profound or prolific in every way, every post has been a mild reflection of who I am. 

Every post has forced me to dig in. Not every post has been deeper than the last; but, every post has been a nugget of my own self reflection. I do not consider my writing to be the best work I have ever done. I do consider it to be collectively a success. I am drawing up on a year of writing. 

Last year I never would have thought I could have come this far. However, I am glad to have had this time. Forcing myself to dig deep and continue to be more authentic with myself has caused me to be a better person. I have caused myself to make changes in the way I interact with other people. I have made changes in the way I think about other people. I have become much more observant of my environment and how people and things work together. I am glad to get to do this in a public forum. Having a pseudo public conversation about myself so regularly has cause many private conversations to have to be deeper. To share the deepest parts of myself publicly week after week would exhaust and kill me. Having shared what I have shared, has caused me to pry the lid from many crates I thought I would never open and open crates I never knew I had. 

Writing every week has caused me to push deeper into shallow relationships I was selling short.

Where in your life are you opening up closets, cleaning out the cobwebs, and looking into who you are? Who are you sharing these deeper parts with?

Prying,

–JT

Closing Time

The end is nigh! The year, the month, the sabbatical, it is coming to a close soon. In enough time, I will be back at work and plowing through 2015. I will be knee deep in the swing of things. The worst of it, I haven’t even finished all the video games and I am only on season 3/5 of Breaking Bad. What will I do!? How can I let my sabbatical end if I haven’t finished these sacred priorities. 

Really though, I am going back soon. I am looking forward to having routine. I am looking forward to have a healthier balance between relational time and solitude. However, I have found a new priority for my life. Spending time in self-reflection. I guess I will be focusing on more time where I’m away from the bustle and introspectively reflecting working and sorting the issues. I have spent so much time fixing everyone else’s problems, I don’t spend any time resolving the problems that keep me from growth, not only personal growth, but professional growth. I have so little time I spend with new people to connect to and invest in. The people who have been a part of my ministry for years, I don’t spend enough time with them. The people who are hardly involved in my ministry at all because I let the issues of peers overwhelm me and keep me from spending time with these people. I love resolving issues for my peers. However, at what cost?

I look forward to getting back to my friends and peers. I look forward to seeing them again and rubbing elbows with them all. This will be a good year and I look forward to seeing what all this year holds. I will also savor every last minute of my sabbatical and use those minutes to be as rested and relaxed as I can be. 

I will continue to write and post here. I expect I'll be posting two or three times a week. Depends on how my schedule pans out. I hope to continue to be as much as if not more more introspective and authentic moving forward than I've been up till now. 

Restfully,

–JT

A Week Already

It is hard to believe it has been more than a week and truly I am just shy of two weeks since I started my sabbatical. I’ve met with a counselor, I’ve gone through the Pathmakers workshop, and I’ve spent a good amount of time reflecting on my life, analyzing where I’ve been and how I landed where I’m at. I actually feel like this is a rather healthy adventure so far. 

I didn’t think it would be as good as it has been. For some reason, I was afraid that I was going to be an epic failure and go back after a month as messed up as when I started. However, if I went back today, I would would feel accomplished. I am astounded the difference it makes to take time to reflect and heal. 

I’m glad I still have more time to continue this process. Today, I am in my old stomping grounds. I’m seeing some friends I haven’t seen for far too long and I’m going to spend some time with my mom and stepdad. I’m glad to be back. I don’t get back this way as often as I would like and I am glad to be going back for an extended stay. My time back home is usually far too short. 

I think I will be able to connect with my mom, old my friends, and some new friends who have moved this way. I look forward to all of it. However, none of it would be possible unless I was taking some time off to reflect and heal.

When is the next time you’re going to do take some time for you? Have you made an appointment in your calendar to get away and reflect? Are you like me where you need someone who loves you enough to make you take that time off? Don’t wait too long. You need it sooner rather than later. Even if it is just a couple hours, an afternoon, or a day. Get some time to clear your head and reflect.

Reflectively,

—JT