I turned 24 yesterday (August 8) in a stunning non-event which I’m sure will catch up to me sometime this week. I’ll start demanding to my friends that we go out and have a night out on the town, I’ll drop subtle hints about the *AH-CHOO!*iPod birthday present I didn’t get, and cry myself to sleep each night at the absolute horror my life has become. I’ve become this vain, materialistic, pleasure-seeking ingrate who just happens to be more responsible with his finances than he was three years ago.
Did I say that out loud? No, worse. I only posted it on my website, which is the equivalent of putting billboards up at every major intersection in the world. Sometimes this Internet thingy can be a curse and a blessing. It’s how one uses it. Joking? Yeah. But somewhat serious too. I think birthdays are good for reflection, so bear with me.
Interestingly enough, yesterday was also the year + six month anniversary since I began this grand little experiment. How far have I come? Three site designs, 1,409 posts (1,410 counting this one), and 1,031 comments later, my reflections are more babbling than useful. But it’s fun to see how ideals, thoughts, beliefs have changed since then.
As a follow-up to my post entitled These Five Things, I want to point you to Lauren’s blog where she reflects on how her heart and passion for God has waned in the past year and a half. So I am not the only one. But she has some great encouragement from Philippians 2:1-11, which I’ll repost here.
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
That is heartening. I want to reflect a life of service and humility. I want to be known as an encourager, not one who demolishes. With my sarcasm and cynicism, I could run as a candidate for World’s Biggest Jerk, but I know that God wants me to be filled with tenderness and compassion for other people. It’s my prayer that He’ll make me more like Him every day.
That is paramount, though a read through of this blog probably would not reveal such priority. I post mainly on politics, though I’ve tried to diversify and write about a number of issues, some heavy, some light. I rarely post personal articles, and only occasionally do I write about my faith. That’s something I’ve been trying to amend in recent weeks, thanks in part to Strat’s comment about Fringe helping to advance the Great Commission.
Upon reading that, I had to ask myself: what is Fringe’s purpose? Temporal amusement? Lasting legacy? Or just something that is neither here nor there? I certainly had not approached it from the perspective of eternity. But I have been thinking long about that, and wonder if it is time to make Fringe more oriented to matters of the spiritual, at least more so than before.
I certainly like Geoff’s idea (thanks for the B-Day shoutout!) of going through scriptures daily, reflecting upon them and their application in his life. Certainly the idea has merits on its own, even if I didn’t post those daily musings here. But I think I probably should. And will.
I want to be a better friend, a more sincere and honest brother, more hardworking, studious and disciplined. I want to walk the straight and narrow, instead of being drunk with my own vanity. I want a spiritually trim body, not fat with inactive muscles of faith. I want to eat right and drink right, both physically and morally. Stop making excuses for myself. Burn away the dross, Lord.
So, happy 24th to me, and happy 1.5th to Fringe. May the years bring new growth and steadfastness of purpose.
UPDATE: Cool. Lileks turns 46 today. I almost share a birthday with a great newspaper columnist.