It’s nearly April here in Littleton, Colorado. Spring is haltingly trying to start while Winter grips on stubbornly. We’re four months removed from Arapahoe High School’s shooting in which a young life was carelessly lost. And in just under a month this community is set to remember a average day in April fifteen years ago. April 20th, 1999. Columbine High School.
There’s a scene in the first “Hobbit” movie – the scene where Bilbo Baggins realizes he needs to leave the Shire and go out on a proper adventure. That this adventure will lead to a universe being created from one end of a book to the end of a third isn’t what matters. What matters is that this little hobbit who enjoys his home and staying in it – and never leaving the comfortable confines of his community. He’s content. Until a crazed wizard shows up with a cadre of dwarves intent on taking back their kingdom and then the real challenge for the once content hobbit begins. He faces down terrifying battles, horrifying beasts of Middle Earth and a unsettling thought they might not make it back alive.
It’s been a rough few days here in Colorado. You could make the case we’ve had a few rough years. Between this spring’s flooding, Aurora’s shooting, Columbine and innumerable other tragedies our fair state’s become a place where people seem to think bad things happen. And bad things do happen here – just as they do everywhere. We seem to have played host to a fair share of the headline grabbing stories.
On April 20th, 1999 I was a sophomore and in my newspaper class at Littleton High School. Suddenly my editor in chief shouted “Oh my God!” while she was on the phone with her mother. We wheeled a television into the room. We watched as the news became reality to us. A mere 5 miles from us – no less then ten minutes down the road – there was something terrifying unfolding in the halls of a Littleton area high school. And it changed us.
I talk a big game. I had dreams this year. I was going to win National Novel Writing Month. I was going to self publish this son of a gun. And I would be able to say for once that I had won NaNoWriMo after seven long years of failure. It helped that I wasn’t working half of the month of November. And then I got a job. And that’s when the wheels fell right the hell off into the flaming abyss that is my NaNoWriMo history.
And yet, this year was different. Sure, I’d nearly made 30,000 words. And I’d found my way out of several unique plot roundabouts. There was an actual story this time. A story I could see ending. A story I could see the arcs fulfilling nearly completely. And I actually enjoyed writing into the 20,000 mark where before it felt like the running of the bulls with elephants mixed in with jaguars.
There’s something unique about sitting down to talk with your young adults pastor and you’re absolutely convinced you should be leaving said young adults group…and then by the end of the breakfast with him you’re questioning every single idea you had in your head. No, it’s not as fun as it sounds but it’s absolutely necessary.
I’m about to bloody my theological knuckles, so buckle up. Strap in. Brace yourself. And hold onto something. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.
I figured I should put that warning there since there’s a chance I’ll be metaphorically and rhetorically crackin’ skulls with today’s post. And I can’t take credit for the inspiration of these words. I blame the twitter user ENT Monkey. Dude even has a website. It all started in the early morning hours today with this tweet.
Sick of Christians, people & myself included on social media saying, “God is so good, look at my great life on Twitter, FB & Instagram.”
— ENT Monkey (@otorhinolarydoc) November 2, 2013
I got a kick out of it because it felt like a nudge in my side. You when someone pokes you and taps you on the shoulder to draw your attention to something? That was this tweet for me. I responded.
Here I am on the last day of National Blog Writing month. I made it! With a few days missed and a couple filled with content for National Novel Writing month – I made it! Looking back on the last thirty days much has happened. I left my five and a half year job for better pastures. I started doing my devotions on a daily bases more. And I began to understand how the last few years have affected me in all of those areas. In that measure alone – NaBloWriMo has been a success.
It’s also Halloween today. Adults will dress up in costume and kids will do the same. It’ll be a right merry day. Or something. I’ve never really enjoyed Halloween. Even as a kid I wasn’t a fan. I don’t know why. So if you’re celebrating and dressing up – go nuts. Just get a designated driver and save the police, courts and your family the trouble eh?
Why, yes. I’m ahead of myself. And slightly proud of it. I’m putting one of my character sketches up – keep in mind this is a very rough draft. First up – Thomas Dahl!
It’s Monday. Commence with the gnashing of teeth and tearing of ritual sackcloth!
I’m back podcasting about church, Jesus and the future of it all. I’m a bit bonkers and wander with my ideas but it’s fifteen minutes worth of marinating on the future of The Church. Give it listen and tell me how wrong I am.
I spent the better part of a Saturday playing computer games on LAN with a bunch of like minded friends. The echoes of my middle school years were not lost on me. In middle school I was a full on nerd. I brought new meaning to the word geek. We had LAN parties, stayed up all hours of the day and night. And had more fun than any group of teenage boys probably should have.
It was nice to have fun blowing things up while teaming up against a very determined AI player. It took three of us on easy level. See, here we go. NEEERRRDD. Needless to say it was a fun time had by all. I got home at midnight and crashed into bed. And I’ve been feeling it all day and even now as Sunday night is closing out I’m wondering what I was thinking.