Friday Fuel: Commitment Phobia, Nice Guys and Great Expectations

March 13, 2015

Is it Spring Break yet?

Our kids are already on break, as we teachers suffer through a day of in-service (when we would much rather be playing outside.) But after today, the baby is visiting grandparents, and Cheri and I have one more week before she goes back to work. Beautiful.

This week, there were a lot of things that fueled, challenged and encouraged me. These were a few of them…

On My Bookshelf

Erin Lane’s Lessons in Belonging From a Church-Going Commitment Phobe arrived in my mailbox this week, and it pretty much immediately found a place on my bookshelf, (though I had to do some rearranging.) In some ways, Erin’s struggle is kind of the struggle of our generation – laying down roots, being committed. Or rather, maybe our struggle is finding an institution that deserves our commitment. But Erin’s journey also reveals that deep down, our needs are no different than any other generation. We need community. We need other people, no matter how imperfect, how frustrating, how challenging it is to be around them. So how do we reconcile this tension?

Erin’s memoir-esque travel-guide through church has been a very enjoyable, memorable book for me, and I think anyone who feels that tension of wanting to belong, and yet want to pull away will find a lot in these pages.

In My Blog Reader

This was a week about church, family, and belonging, apparently…

I don’t know if this was intentional or not, but Stephen Altrogge wrote this week that God Does Not Want Matt Chandler to Be Your Pastor. It is an excellent call to our culture that increasingly consumes preaching like any other product, to go belong to our various home churches and stop wishing our pastor was some superstar. Then, Lore Ferguson (whose pastor is Matt Chandler) wrote about the “Loveliest” church that so many people are searching for, comparing them to the most beautiful woman in the room that all the men are pining for, while the vast number of average women are left feeling lonely. Both of them very impactful.

I’d like to think that I’m raising a nice boy. I’m not very confrontational by nature. I get fired up at home (you should hear me), but I show up to work, and want everyone to be happy. But we all know that nice guys finish last, right? I really appreciated Kristen from We Are That Family, and her post Dear Son, It’s OK to be a Nice Guy.

Lindsey Nobles writes about not being invited, while Nadia Bolz-Weber writes about the problem of addiction and “me” based solutions.

Finally, Amy Julia Becker calls on parents to give up something that is completely ingrained in us, so taken for granted that I dare say most parents don’t even see it anymore. She calls on parents to give up the great expectations they have placed on their children, and start seeing them simply as the imago Dei.

That’s it for me. I will see you next Wednesday!