I meant to write and post this more than a month ago. November 22nd marked ten years of very Much Later. In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t capitalize very. Never have. Why? Because I’ve been told that “real writers don’t use that word” but it worked in the title. Ridiculous, I know. Is it a branding thing? A rebellion of some kind? Yes.
★ ★ ★
Ten years ago, I wrote my first post on this blog. It’s terrible. The theology is bad. It doesn’t sound like me, even me ten years ago. Good Lord, it’s embarrassing to even think about. But that’s life in so many ways, isn’t it? If we don’t regret haircuts, clothing choices and don’t have photo evidence of such bad decisions, then one must ask, am I really living? If we aren’t embarrassed, then we probably haven’t grown or changed. That was a total blanket statement, but I’m fine with it.
That said can I point out any differences between today and ten years ago? Of course, I can.
Ten years ago:
I was just laid off from a job I mostly loved at my church (Late in November- just in time for the holidays). I cried. A lot. My (also unemployed) roommate was annoyed by my tears. Once he got over that, we played RockBand, “borrowed” a ton of Christmas lights from his parents and went all Clark Griswold on our house with them, binge-watched Scrubs, and I started playing around on Blogger- remember Blogger? I started writing pretty seriously because I had the time. Not well, but seriously. very Much Later was originally called, Wish You Were Here. I know- lame. Naming things isn’t easy.
I work at another church. As the rector! That’s Anglican-speak for senior pastor. I was hired back in August, but have been at it full-time for about ten weeks now (fourteen weeks as of publishing this because I’m late for these things). I have no video games, Christmas lights, or roommates in my life at the moment, and I’m thrilled about that. I’ve neglected the blog over the past year as I’ve been working toward becoming a priest with the hope to become a rector or plant a church. I had no idea that I’d be doing this so soon or at such a wonderful church. (I’ll be ordained as a priest next month!)
Ten years ago:
I weighed like, 115 pounds.
Ten years ago:
I worshipped at a larger non-denominational church, was convinced that was the single way to faithfully worship Jesus and engage the world around me. I was sure that denominations were only the results of churches splitting or turning the work of the Holy Spirit into programs and organizations.
I’m an Anglican. I’ve found my tribe. This isn’t the only way to faithfully worship Jesus. Anglicanism is just what helps me pursue Him the best way I can. More than ever, I’m convinced that God is coming back for one bride- one Church. He isn’t going to grab the hottest of three or four sisters and run off with her, leaving the rest in angsty dismay. And denominations? I’ll start by saying that history makes everyone look bad. Many people are just trying to worship in a way that works. At the same time, so many people are trying to do something new and still… I’m convinced that there is no novelty in Christianity. If there is, then it’s only new ways to say and do old and true things.
Ten years ago:
A 23-year-old man-child began to realize that he didn’t have everything figured out. My faith was only a little more than presumption. And it was a rollercoaster ride.
Still on the rollercoaster. Maybe just a smaller one? I’m not sure that’s true. I feel less dramatic, so that’s nice. But comparatively, (We shouldn’t compare) I haven’t suffered much. After ten years of fights, apologies, unanswered questions, unlearning things, recanting flippant words, and pressing into true ones that have offended people, I’m not the same person. Am I wiser? I’ll probably never call myself wise. But I am more careful… some of the time. I still see the value in offending people. Just more appropriately.
All of this means that sometimes, posting on vML has become more difficult. I think about the consequences of some of the things that I want to write. I edit more (but somehow, seem to have more typos). I have a flock who trusts me to feed them spiritual food and anything I share here can’t contradict what I say on a Sunday. Saying true things extends beyond my church though. I have made vows to speak truth to the world and I hope for another decade of trying to do that faithfully and funnily here, on very Much Later.
Also? Thank you, everyone who’s kept up with me over ten years. Some of you have encouraged me more than you know. I mean that and I am grateful for it. I want to write more. I plan on writing more. We’ll see what happens. I mean, I write sermons every week and that in itself is amazing. But I still need vML. And I hope you can continue on the journey with me!