“This will begin to make things right.”
My name is Alan Middleton and I’m starting a blog.
If you are anything like me, blogs aren’t your thing. In fact, if you are anything like me you aren’t reading this blog. Instead you are currently ordering a pizza, playing a video game, buying tickets to the latest regurgitation of film at the theater, or maybe just spending time in the great outdoors. While all of these choices sound fantastic (Seriously, I hear “Creed” is really good and pizza would really hit the spot right about now.) I think I’ll keep typing. Why? Why write a blog when pizza is out there ready to be eaten and movies will not watch themselves?
I’ve never been one of those guys who kept a journal. I never have considered myself particularly articulate or creative in a literary sense. In fact, I’ve more often than not harbored a disdain for those who believed their thoughts important enough to be written out and shared with the peoples of the interwebs. However, I can’t deny that a creative outlet can be enormously beneficial, especially for someone in my profession.
Let me get to the point. I’m a married youth minister in my late twenties who is guilty of undisciplined mediocrity. I’m often frustrated when I look at my own life and think it’s uneventful. When I ask myself, “If they made a movie out of my life… would anyone want to watch it?” I often find myself in doubt. Now that’s not to say I believe anyone’s life should be devoted to themselves in some sort of hedonistic pursuit of being as happy as possible or desiring the envy/approval of others. Above all else I’m a devoted Christian and believe service to God and others is the greatest good one’s life can achieve. However, I also believe God’s ability to use us in powerful ways is only limited by our own free will. For example if I’m unsatisfied by a lack of adventure in my life, I should be questioning how much trust I’ve truly placed in God. A radical trust in God will take you on the greatest life-long adventure any young man or woman could ask for. (John 10:10, 2 Cor. 11:23-30, get your Bible out)
C.S. Lewis once said about God, “Safe? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course He isn’t safe. But He’s good.”
I think Lewis makes a very important point here. The real reason we don’t throw ourselves into adventures, into incredible situations is because we want to play it safe. We fear the “what ifs”. More and more i’m learning to appreciate the importance of getting off the couch, turning off Netflix and trying something new. Even if it fails immediately it is 99% (a very official statistic) more rewarding than watching recorded fictitious events on a screen. Jennifer (my beautiful wife) and I always try to force ourselves to go on adventures and try new things. Anything from riding on a train to trying new and unique restaurants to reading devotional books. This is something we have to force each other to do because there is always something more comfortable we could be doing.
Now, I love movies. Movies inspire me and take me to places I could never go. Talking about movies, quoting movies, watching Youtube videos of other people talking about movies are all enjoyable past times to me. All I’m saying is that getting lost in pointless commentary pales in comparison to living an abundant life where you take chances, help others, hold yourself to higher standards and be better than yesterday. I rarely feel like going to the gym. I rarely feel worse after I’ve gone to the gym. So why don’t I go more often? Why don’t I try to live this abundant life?
I say all of this to say, I’m trying something new. I’m not going to be great at it right away or possibly ever. But it’s good for me and hopefully it might be good for you as well. My plan for this blog is to write about youth ministry, church, faith, pizza, books, exercise, and of course… movies. If that’s not your cup of tea, I get it. Don’t waste your time here. But please do find other sources that inspire you to think and be better. As a wise Morgan Freeman once said…