As I was preparing to launch ThePunkPastor.com, I decided to take a look back at my earliest journal entries. I have always reflected on what it means for me to write. Luckily I was pretty good about dating stuff I wrote, and I am pretty sure that the passage you will see below is the first time that I both wrote for the sake of writing and reflected on what it means for me to write.
A collection of my writing lives on separate sheets of random paper in a yellow envelope entitled, "Personal." These papers represent days before I wrote in a journal. In fact, right in the excerpt that I am sharing below, I wrote, "This will not be a journal, diary, or research. It is just my writings." I was dead set against the idea of keeping a journal.
Perhaps I never learned to keep a journal. However, I have numerous books that I have written journal entries in along the way. I cannot call this keeping a journal though. Keeping a journal involves intentionality. Keeping is taking care of and tending to something. I have never been that attentive to my journal. So, it seems I may have been right at the outset when I wrote, "It is just my writings."
Why I Write (Preach, Teach, Blog, and Podcast)
For as long as I can remember, I have struggled to put pen to paper and commit my thoughts to ink. I have felt the need to write perfectly if I want anyone to hear what I am trying to say. When I began my journey of, "writing for the sake of writing," I didn't know what I was doing, but I believed there were meaning and purpose in it. I wrote on through years when I lost all sense of meaning and purpose. And then I wrote and continue to write in order to sort out questions of meaning and purpose. For almost twenty years, I have been exploring platforms to journey with others through these questions.
So, it is a pretty safe bet that I will write and speak about meaning and purpose in this new blog and podcast.
While I don't pretend to have answers to every question about meaning and purpose, I do believe that I have experienced events of meaning and purpose. I have felt what it is to meaningfully exist in moments of invitation and embrace from the divine source of hope, peace, and love. A few moments of experiencing full belonging to and love from love itself have fueled my ever evolving sense of purpose.
Experiences of Meaning and Purpose
I have always felt a call to help others grow towards a deeper understanding and experience of meaning and purpose. While I don't believe that I have it all figured out, I am seeking to conspire with others to explore the ways of living that lead to experiences of these things. My hope for humankind is that we will grow together in our experiences of meaning in our oneness and purpose in our intentional practice of kindness.
The reason I write (journal), preach, teach, blog, and now podcast is to participate in the revolution of kindness that I believe is already unfolding. There are at all times those among us who live according to kindness. I try, and at some points in my journey have actually been able to experience moments of living that way. I hope and pray humankind might seek to experience these moments together.
For those of you anxiously awaiting the first podcast, here is a teaser: I will reflect on my understanding and use of the word kindness. This seems appropriate since I am rooting my hope for a revolution in it.
So, here is what I believe was the first time I wrote for the sake of recording and sharing my thoughts. almost twenty years ago. My First Journal Entry, wherein I refuse to acknowledge that it is a journal:
Why I Write - Journal Entry: December 8, 1997
"I have decided to write for the sake of writing. I know that there will be meaning and purpose behind it, but for now it is the sake of writing to better myself, my friends, and anybody else who gets to read it after I die, hopefully many years from now, or when portions of it are published.
I have thought many things for many years. I have now realized that all of my thoughts, ideas, my beliefs... maybe nothing has been completely for good, but I am not claiming to be perfect. I will say however that I believe that in my life I have looked for betterment of myself and for all around me. My actions don't always support my beliefs or goals, but I try.
I am not exactly sure where my life is going right now, but I have promised myself to expand my mind, emotions, and experiences. This will ensure that I have gone to the fullest extent to relate my opinions, theories, and feelings thoroughly and accurately.
This will not be a journal, diary, or research. It is just my writings."