That Printer of Udell’s

So, why a new blog?

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I have tried blogging in the past, and eventually they sort of just dry up. I am probably an undiagnosed ADHD (well, I am in my forties now so the “H” has dried up as well), so I am wondering if my interests just wander around and I lose interest in blogging and writing. Along with this, I have discovered (or identified) through the book “Strengths Finder 2.0” that one of my strengths is “achiever.”

“Your Achiever theme helps explain your drive. Achiever describes a constant need for achievement. You feel as if every day starts at zero…no matter how much you may feel ou deserve a day of rest, if the day passes without some form of achievement, no mater how small, you will feel dissatisfied… After each accomplishment is reached, the fire dwindles for a moment, but very soon it rekindles itself, forcing toward the next accomplishment.”

This pretty much sums me up, to a degree, and was probably the fire that drove me last year in triathlon. I was very structured with my training, and had fun blogging about it. But now, I really have no desire to do triathlon. There is no fire for it.

So this blog is about classical self-education, a pursuit I started around the end of May this year. I have been devoting myself to reading and journaling, and have remained quite steady. Hence, the idea for a blog… to chronicle my progress of, in Mr. Darcy’s words, “improving my mind through extensive reading.” And there are things happening in my mind and life that are fascinating and exciting.

To name one: I just finished “That Printer of Udell’s,” and it left me wondering about my own Christianity. The book follows a man’s journey into Boyd City, unemployed, broke and hungry. He is turned out by one church member and then the church itself does not even attempt to meet any of his needs. He finds employment with a printer named Udell, and the book tells of his journey from bitter cynicism to a society of young people trying to live like Jesus, not just “church members,” and then to his leadership in helping those in need and showing others how to truly live out their Christianity.

This book really challenged me. Yes, I do serve at church, and we tithe consistently now (since we have gotten on track with our finances as stewards of God’s money – thanks Dave Ramsey). But are we really stewards or do we satisfy our owe wants the majority of the time? Am I comfortable? Am I only a “church member?” Do I truly live out my Christianity in the way illustrated by this book? Am I “first world” Christian, comfortable by default?

Well, what I decided to do first is to contribute more food for our church’s food bank. We will go with the kids and have them pick out the food, deliver it to the food bank, and then help hand it out to those in need. My employer is also sponsoring a “Care Deeply” volunteer day in September, where employees can volunteer for charities for half a day. I knew it was coming and was completely undecided on what I was going to do. For some reason, I just felt apathetic about participating.

Yesterday morning my thoughts were heavy and  still lingering on these questions. I went to work and investigated the volunteer opportunities. What blew my mind was when I looked up Habitat for Humanity.  I have heard of it, but didn’t really know much about it. This is exactly the sort of ministry the Printer of Udell’s helped to set up – Christian, but non-denominational, something respectful that anyone can contribute to or volunteer for.

So, why a new blog?