Tag Archives: Personal Reflection

Jenny

I am shown a picture. It is of my youth group at a ski trip. In the picture is a pretty blonde, I’ve seen her around before. I must know her name. “Who is that, I don’t recognize her?”

“Jenny.”

****

I sit in church, she’s sitting with her family. 14-year-old perfection in a blue shirt. I do not hear the sermon, I stare. I notice I’m staring and look away. I try to pay attention to the pastor and his message of God, but my eyes drift inexorably towards His earthly angel. I need to talk to her after the service.

I don’t.

****

I have been roped into greeting people coming to church. I stand near the door, shaking hands and saying ‘hi’. A few people ask me how I’m doing, I answer as I always do, “fine.” My eye wanders expectantly towards the entrance as I hand out bulletins. Finally, I am rewarded. She comes into view. Her top is cut just right; it is modest and wholesome, yet the smallest bit of breast can be seen. My heart skips a beat, literally; it misses one pump, it hurts so good. How can just a square inch of milky-white flesh do this to me?

Never before have I had that strong a reaction to anyone; I did not know at the time, but I never would again.

This vision of perfection walks towards me. I can’t meet those green eyes, I look down. I shake her hand, say something, say anything. Out squeaks a “hi”, she says “hi” back. Say more, just speak, one sentence, that’s all, but my mouth refuses to open. She goes to sit down. My body is still roiling.

There will be other chances to talk with her.

****

At youth group, she’s there. A card game starts, I join, she joins. I’m good at games, this is my chance. Impress her, talk to her. She speaks, another replies. I stare intently at my cards. My gaze wanders to the face I think of every day, I pull it quickly back to my cards. Over and over again. The turns pass, I continue to draw and play saying nothing. Some conversation is engaged in by the others, but mostly it is silence. The game ends, I win, yet I know I lost.

****

I am at the mall with my mother. She asks about my life. She asks about girls. I tell her of Jenny, she tells me that’s cute. I say, but she’s 3 years younger than me. My mother says three years doesn’t matter. I hope, but am not sure if I believe her.

****

I am at youth group. A group is talking. I enter the group and stand beside her. Speak! But what do I say? Anything, just speak. What if I say something stupid? Just say something, I can’t. You must. I turn my head towards her, my mouth opens, and nothing comes out. My mind curses me.

****

I am newly 18, now a youth leader. We are at a corn maze, I see her and her sister enter. I follow behind. I catch up. We talk. An actual conversation, our first. It turns out the younger girl is her niece, not her sister. We walk through the maze, conversation flowing, awkwardly, but flowing.

“I’m cold.” “You can borrow my jacket.” “No thanks.”

Conversation continues.

“We should ditch my niece and go off by ourselves.” “That doesn’t seem very nice.”

We continue talking and talking through the maze. We get through after an hour and end up at the camp fire.

She sits elsewhere, I stare into the fire, poking it with a stick as I daydream of us. I have a natural high for the next month.

****

A few weeks later, at youth group. She walks up to me. She’s wearing a Corona jersey that drapes most wonderfully over her perfect breasts. The white highlights her pale skin. She smiles her perfect smile, and says “hi”. Her beauty transcends words.

I say “hello” back. She stands there, looking at me. Say something! what? Anything. Anything? Ask her about her week. How? I don’t know, just do it.

Time passes. She talks to someone else nearby.

****

I am talking with my mother and sisters. Relationships come up. I mention Jenny, both my sisters go “awwww”.

****

After church, she stands alone, leaning against a wall. Her lips are redder than usual, her hair in a ponytail. She’s wearing black leather boots and a leather jacket. She looks classy, cute, and sexy, all at once. I need to talk to her. I go lean against the wall nearby. I should speak. I say nothing. We both stand and lean for minutes.

I hate myself, but there will be other chances.

****

I am on the bus. I daydream of Jenny, as I do every day. I dream of holding her in my arms. I dream of coming home to her smile each day. I dream of the little blonde children we will have. The dreams are wonderful, yet painful and lonely. It tears at me.

I daydream of something less painful, of killing myself, of peace.

****

At church, she’s leaning against the wall again. So very pretty, I should talk to her. I will… After I help put away the chairs.

The chairs are put away, she’s still there, go talk to her. I will… but first I have to think of something to say.

You’ve though of something, talk to her. I will!

I walk towards her.

I can’t. I turn.

I walk home, raging at myself.

I get home, I cry.

****

I am 20, it is Christmas Eve. It has been a half-year since I have seen her. Months of daydreams, yet each month thinking of her less. I think about her only a few times a week. I vaguely wish to see her again.

I get my wish. I see her walk in. Her golden hair wreathes her angelic face. She looks the season in her classy crimson top. So very pretty.

I sit in the back, I can barely take my eyes off her the entire service. What should I say to her.

The service ends.

I walk out and stand in the hallway. She’s just inside the auditorium, I can talk to her. I can’t. I rage at myself. My friend notices me and asks why I am out here by myself, pacing. I tell him. Go talk to her.

I enter back into the main room. She’s leaning against the same wall as before. I stand in the back instead. I muster courage for 10 minutes. While I muster, she leaves with her family.

On the way home, my mother asks me what’s wrong. I don’t tell her.

****

The day after Valentine’s Day. My mother tells me she saw Jenny, she was at a Valentine’s supper at my church with someone else.

She goes back upstairs. I cry on my bed.

****

In my mid-late 20’s, reading my facebook feed. Her niece’s profile comes up as a friend of a friend. I haven’t really thought of Jenny in years, but I wonder. I go into her friend’s list. Search “Jennifer”. There’s a Jennifer,  but the last name’s different. I click the profile picture; the girl in the dress matches my vague memories of Jenny’s face. She’s with a man in a suit. More pictures, pictures of children, pictures of her smiling with her children.

She’s aged, no longer the 14-year-old angel of my dreams. She’s now chubby, the perfect curve of youthful hip and breast hidden under a small layer of fat.

And yet, she’s still beautiful. Her smile still glistens and her flaxen hair still glows. I feel a dull ache.

I close the browser, trying not to think.

****

A couple years later, apropos of nothing, I think of her. I wonder.

What if I had the social abilities then that I do now? What if I had been able to summon my courage then, as I can do now?

Would I have been able to win her heart? Would those children be mine?

What if, instead of an empty house, I came home each day to my beautiful, chubby, blonde hausfraus and our adorable little kinder? If those children were mine?

How would my life be different, how would I be different, if I had been a better man?

I write my memories down.

While writing, I’m curious once again, I search for her profile for the second time. She’s aged, she’s still vaguely pretty, but not beautiful. She has changed, or have I?

Would I still find her beautiful had I been a better man?

She recently celebrated her sixth anniversary. They seem happy in the few pictures of them, but most of the pictures are of children.

There is no dull ache, just a slight wistfulness.

I don’t know what to think, so instead, I share my thoughts with thousands of people I have never met. Hopefully my writing will help a younger version of me; maybe it will only confuse him more. Either way, I feel this needs to be written.

Status Update: Life & Purpose

My blog has been in existence for just over six months now. My first post, was on my reason for blogging, and I was asked about how it’s coming along. So, here’s a post to keep myself on track.

Over this period, I’ve come to accept most of the axioms of the manosphere, although, the praxis of it is still being worked out. In particular, I’m still questioning whether or not to learn game, but am trying to adopt some of the underlying attitudes of it.

I still have not decided what I plan to do with my life, but the two big options I am leaning towards are patriarchy or MGTOW.

Recently, I’ve come to realize that I am okay with going MGTOW; I don’t fear “being alone” like I used to. In some ways, I think I might prefer it, but I do know I’m not going to marry unless it is a very old-fashioned and patriarchal marriage.

High command has let my work unit know that cuts will be occurring, so my job may be in jeopardy over the next year or so, so that might force me to decide. If that happens, I’ll probably slide to a minimalist lifestyle and work on my side businesses rather than bust my ass finding a new one. Going minimalist will likely require, at least temporarily, MGTOW.

On the other hand, I truly would like to get married and fill my quiver. I know the prevalent attitude around these parts is don’t do it, but I think the benefits will outweigh the potential costs if I find the right woman. So, I’m willing to take the risk once and if I perish, I perish. I can than go minimalist MGTOW after that. On this front, there’s a potential, somewhat long-shot wife prospect who’d looks like she might make a good helpmeet, we’ll see how that turns out.

I’ve gotten in much better health. Through eating (mostly) primal, I’ve lost 30 lbs or so, have reduced my gut significantly, and have reduced my belt notches by two. On the other hand, my daily work-out routine disappeared over my vacation and I haven’t restarted it yet. I find I go to bed too late, so I don’t wake up with enough time to do it in the mornings.

I’ve started my affiliate website project, and have created the underlying structure of it. It’s actually up on the net right now and working, but there’s not much for content yet and I still have to market it. The project is ongoing, but I have trouble finding motivation in the evenings after working. I’m setting up a block of time in December to take off work so I can really put myself to work on it.

The affiliation through my blog here, has made me about $20 so far. Not enough to do anything with, but at this rate, I’ll probably get my first check (I need to earn $100 for them to write a check)  by sometime early 2014.

I’ve recently decided I want to eventually homestead. This is a long-term plan (we’re talking over the next decade or two), but  I plan to (eventually) sell my house, buy some affordable property in the country with a large acreage, add a solar power system, get some grazing cows and chickens, start hunting, and become mostly self-sufficient on the food and energy front.  Then use a combination of odd jobs, consulting, and various small business projects for income supplementation. We’ll see how that goes (some day).

So, that there’s the life update. I’ll try to remember to put another one out in about 6 months or so. We’ll see. Cheers.

I’m Back

So, I’ve returned from my vacation. I’ve looked through the comments of the posts here, but there’s too many to reply to.

I hope you’ve all enjoyed the first few posts in my Biblical Alpha series. I’ve got a few more posts in the series in the works, but it’s a long-term project; I’m putting it to the side for now as I need some variety on here.

I read a lot on vacation and caught up on a fair amount of my manosphere-related backlog of books , so most of the next week will be book reviews.

That’s housekeeping stuff out of the way. Now, about my vacation…

If this was a travel-blog, I’d brag about the sites I visited, the restaurants I ate at, etc., but you can get that anywhere; I’m pretty sure nothing I did or saw hasn’t been done, photographed, and blogged a million times already.

This is a site dedicated to personal self-improvement, exploring men’s topics, and alt-right politics, so, I’ll write about that instead.

*****

First, some quick, off-hand alt-right observations.

In the relatively ethnically homogenous, northern European countries I went to across the pond, there seemed to be a level of social trust that isn’t always available in Canada.

Prices were ridiculously high and customer service sucked. (The wonders of democratic socialism).

It’s amazing how much history there is in Europe. Everywhere you go, there’s ancient churches, ancient buildings, ruins, ancient this and ancient that. It’s something I miss living in North America, where something a fifty years old is considered historical.

Europeans are a lot riskier with their children. They had child play facilities (it was a family vacation; children were there) there that would never get off the ground here for liability reasons. They still had the old wooden playground equipment that’s been eliminated over here. I think it’s a good thing, I favour the free-range kids approach, but it was odd.

Also, I didn’t notice as many fat people. It might have been just the places I visited, but I noticed that there weren’t near as many fat people over there, as there were here.

Nothing that hasn’t been observed before. So, enough of that, onto personal improvement stuff.

****

One thing I planned to work on while there was approaching woman. I had no plans to game anyone or go for a close or anything, but just open and sustain some conversations with some women  to get over my approach anxiety (baby-steps).

One problem I didn’t count one: I didn’t really notice all that many women in the proper age bracket while I was there. Most of the things I went to were with my family and were either touristy or family-oriented; I saw a lot of jailbait and older women, but not many young women.

But I did have five good opportunities to approach a women of the appropriate age. I’ll be honest, the first two opportunities that presented themselves I blew entirely.

The first was on a train; I ended up sitting beside a very cute brunette (easily a 9 for those of you into numbers) for about an hour. She gave me a few sidelong glances that may (or may not) have been indicators of interest, but I did not talk to her, except some functional stuff when she needed to get by me to get off the train. At the time, I rationalized my cowardice by telling myself she was too young , but in retrospect, that was just an excuse, she could have been anywhere from 16-20, and I had no plans other than to just open a conversation, so there was nothing sleazy to it. In retrospect, that was just me chickening out (but I kinda knew that at the time to).

The next opportunity was at a gift shop in a tourist trap; I was buying a beer mug from a moderately pretty clerk (about a 7). As far as I could tell, she looked amenable to conversation and I intended to strike one up, but when I was making my purchase I fumbled with the credit card machine, got embarrassed, and pussied out.

That was dispiriting, but fear not gentle reader, for I rallied later in the trip. Feeling shame over my cowardice, I decided to do better on my next chance, and I did.

The third opportunity was at a train station. I was trying to decipher the train map with my sister and a somewhat plain lass (mostly about a 6, but with a very ample bosom that nudged her to a 7)  was also reading the sign. I struck up a conversation with her and it ended up we both needed to take the same train. She turned out to be a back-packing Yank, and me, her, and my sister talked for a while and she displayed a number of interest signals. I estimate there was a decent chance I could have set up another meeting at this point if I tried for it. A couple other backpackers came on and joined in the conversation. One of them began to dominate the conversation and I didn’t care enough to wrest it back; I had accomplished what I wanted.

The fourth opportunity was at an amusement park near closing time. My nephew wanted to go on a kiddie ride; I got on with him, and while getting on, the really cute blonde ride operator (an 8.5, but subjective 9.5, as innocent-looking blue-eyed blondes are the definition of my type) asked me a few questions about where I was from. I answered, got on the ride. On the ride, I realized she had been flirting with me (I’m not very good at reading body language). My nephew wanted to ride again (and again, and again) and while getting on talked more with the operator, and, yes, she was indeed flirting with me very heavily. When my nephew was done his multiple rides and my family moved on I stayed behind, and started a good conversation with her. We talked for about 10 or so minutes, she seemed surprised at my age when it came up, then when I asked her if she was in university or anything, she answered high school and told me her grade. Her grade made it sound like she was 15 or 16 to my Canuck knowledge (later I learned her grade would have made her 17, maybe 18). The conversation continued for a few minutes more, but even after the reveal of a decade or so age gap, she still seemed very much into me.

I was at the time, and still am, 95% sure that I could have either gotten her number or a date after the park closing had I simply asked. Somewhat regretfully, I decided not to, though. I was not going to start a long-distance relationship with a high-school girl and am not planning on engaging in casual sex, so there was not any reason to pursue further.

This one was major confidence booster. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a natural omega, and deep-down I still have the internalized omega’s doubts about my attractiveness to females. So, such open and heavy flirting from such a highly attractive stranger was very nice boost and has helped alleviate some of my doubts. A few more interactions like that and I might be rid of them entirely.

The final opportunity was at an airport terminal. I exchanged a few glances with a moderately pretty blonde (about a 7, subjective 8) at the duty-free while paying for my liquor and then saw her in the terminal for the plane I was catching. I sat beside her and started reading, intending to strike up conversation when it looked like I had an opening. Before I could, she asked me when the plane was coming, I told her and we started talking. She seemed interested, as the conversation went along, it turned out she was also in high school. I could most likely still have gotten her e-mail address or phone number after that had I asked, but again, to what end? I let the conversation die a natural death as we got seated. Then waved goodbye to her when I saw her in customs after the flight.

So, maybe not the most interesting interactions and there’s no real game conclusions to be drawn as the conversations I had were fairly mundane with no attempt at game on my part. Any alphas or game-types reading this are probably snickering to themselves about me writing about such go-nowhere interactions, but for me these were big steps.

These were my first cold approaches and the first time I ever opened strangers. So, overall I’m pleased with the results and the positive responses, especially from the one blonde, were shots to my confidence.

*****

One thing from these interactions, especially the last two was whether I’ve attracted female attention before but didn’t notice?

I’ve never been able to read body language all that well and I’ve always assumed I didn’t attract female attention, an ingrained attitude coming from my school years as a skinny, socially ostracized nerd. But the last few years I haven’t looked as nerdy, have not been as socially awkward, and am not the toothpick I was in high school. Lately I’ve been trying to learn to read body language, especially as it relates to inter-sex interactions. Six months or a year ago, I never would have noticed the flirting from the operator or the glances from the other blonde. I haven’t noticed any female attention in my real life, I got more attention in the three weeks of the trip than in the last year at home. Have I been receiving this kind of attention from females for a while and either not noticed it or discounted it? Something to keep an eye out for.

*****

There was also one other interaction of note. I was at the beach with my folks and was just standing around staring at the ocean, when a random guy came up to me and started what turned into a rather awkward conversation. He was either gay or practicing his English, I’m not sure which, but I think the former as he was very obviously (European swimsuits) at “half-mast” for the conversation (or a rather unimpressive “full-mast”), although, he did mention how he enjoyed practicing his English, so the “half-mast” might possibly have just been an unfortunate coincidence.

But either way, the conversation was rather awkward. I’ve wondered whether that uncomfortable awkwardness is what a women feels when some guy tries a lame approach?

*****

Anyway, that’s the end of my self-absorbed, navel-gazing for today. Maybe you found it interesting, maybe you didn’t. I’ll have some real content in the next couple of days.

Discussion on Game

I posted a review of Bang yesterday and this prompted me to think on if I will apply game in my own life.

I’m still on the fence about game. I’m a Christian, so casual sex is not something I plan to pursue, this seems to take away the most immediate reason to learn game.

Right now I plan on being a patriarch, not a player, so I am looking for a wife, and do not want to ruin that prospect with the player’s curse.

On the other hand, I do want to be an alpha male patriarch, not a whipped beta schlub. So, MMSL-style marriage game is something I want to pursue when I get married to keep my marriage happy and my wife attracted to me.

But for the mean-time prior to marriage I’m not sure.

Mentu’s advice on Christian game creates a really convincing argument for Christian men to learn game.

On the other hand, I do not want game to be necessary to attract my future wife though.

So, the conclusion I’ve come to for now it to slowly learn the basics of game over time, in particular confident movement and posture, outcome independence, and social/conversational skills. The kind of basic, underlying attitudes that will enhance my life apart from picking up girls, and will not require me to continually monitor myself and my techniques to keep my wife I gamed from leaving me.

I also plan to get myself into shape.

Apart from that, I won’t meet a girl to be my wife if I don’t get over my approach anxiety, so I plan to practice approaching women, not really gaming them, but simply to get over the anxiety.

Next month I’m going out of the country for a few weeks with family. I plan to practice some approaches to get over the anxiety then, when I have opportunities, as there will be less, but still some, social risk to (awkwardly) approaching women from another country who I’ll never see again. We’ll see how that goes.

The goal is to have the base attitudes of game by 30. Then depending on what I choose for my life, I can add on to the base as necessary.

Unplugging

I was reading the Hawaiian Libertarian archives, and came across this post on the media. It got me thinking about my own media consumption habits, which reminded me of this passage from CS Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, where Screwtape, a greater demon, advises a lesser demon on tempting a man:

As this condition becomes more fully established, you will be gradually freed from the tiresome business of providing Pleasures as temptations. As the uneasiness and his reluctance to face it cut him off more and more from all real happiness, and as habit renders the pleasures of vanity and excitement and flippancy at once less pleasant and harder to forgo (for that is what habit fortunately does to a pleasure) you will find that anything or nothing is sufficient to attract his wandering attention. You no longer need a good book, which he really likes, to keep him from his prayers or his work or his sleep; a column of advertisements in yesterday’s paper will do. You can make him waste his time not only in conversation he enjoys with people whom he likes, but in conversations with those he cares nothing about on subjects that bore him. You can make him do nothing at all for long periods. You can keep him up late at night, not roistering, but staring at a dead fire in a cold room. All the healthy and outgoing activities which we want him to avoid can be inhibited and nothing given in return, so that at last he may say, as one of my own patients said on his arrival down here, “I now see that I spent most of my life in doing neither what I ought nor what I liked”.

The Screwtape Letters (which I’d heavily recommend reading) was written before TV became the dominant form of media consumption, but is an excellent description of what TV does.

I’ve was always more of a gamer, but years ago I would watch TV regularly. Often I found myself watching TV, but not enjoying it. I would watch shows that I didn’t find entertaining simply because I was too bored or lethargic to do anything better with my time.. I would stay up late watching crap or simply flipping through channels watching nothing in particular, neglecting my sleep, but not really having fun either.

Then, I moved into a friend’s house. He didn’t want to pay for cable and neither did I, so we went without. I found I didn’t miss TV at all. I would occasionally have a hankering to watch the Simpsons, but other than that I found there was no loss to my life or happiness, and I had more time for other things.

Now, I still watch some shows (such as Archer and Futurama), because sometimes I just need to lie down and relax for a few hours, without having to read or think too much.

But I only watch shows I have specifically downloaded or purchased on DVD. So, when I do watch TV, I only end up watching what I know I enjoy, so I never find myself wasting time on boring stuff.

I’ve been considering subscribing to Netflix as there’s a show or two on there I want to watch (Community and Arrested Development, specifically). My concern though, is with that much easy selection I might again be tempted to waste more time watching TV than I would like. So, I haven’t subscribed yet, but am considering it.

As for other media. I never listen to the radio anymore and haven’t since I got an MP3 player; I find the talk radio boring and music radio plays only crappy music (ie. non-metal).

I never really watched TV news; I found it was really hard to see through the bias to the deeper meanings at the speed of television and so many of the stories were complete wastes of time.

I did read newspapers regularly, but I’ve been trying to cut back. I still read newspapers as part of my job requires it, but I try to avoid it on my own time.

Keeping up with the news is mostly a waste of time and can actually be harmful. Nassim Taleb wrote about this in the Black Swan (another book I’d recommend); the best filter for news is what you hear from others and too much news can actually be harmful to your thinking as you become trapped in minutiae and narrative.

Besides, the news almost never changes, you can predict exactly what your average newspaper will have each day, all that changes is the details:

  • Local violent crime
  • Heartwarming human interest story
  • Political scandal
  • Political leaders debate bill to remove freedom
  • Middle East violence

If anything is novel enough to care about, you’ll learn about it from somewhere. If you really want to keep up, choose an aggregator, such as Instapundit, it will summarize the bigger stories without requiring much time.

The last form media is the internet; this is where most of my media attention goes. I try to read most of the sites on my blogroll fairly regularly, and I have no regrets about that.

What I do find is that it is very easy to waste time just clicking around doing nothing, rather than doing something more useful. Facebook, and political debates on there are especially bad for this. I find I can waste a lot of time debating useless politics with my friends. I enjoy it, usually, but it’s not really productive. I’ve been trying to post less in the last few weeks, and this blog is helping in that. When I can use the Lightning Round to make snide remarks and larger posts to talk about other interesting topics, I think I waste less time posting and debating things on FB, but it’s something I’m working on.

One other special difficulty is late night; it is very easy to continue to waste time, even when not really having fun or learning anything useful, rather than going to bed to get the sleep I need, but I’m trying to work on that. I did quite good in going to bed at a decent time for a few weeks when I first started trying primal living, but have started staying up late again in the last couple weeks. It’s something to work on.

In conclusion, some tips for readers: if you have cable, get rid of it; you probably won’t miss it. If you need to watch TV, use DVDs or downloads, possibly Netflix, so you can ensure you only watch TV you enjoy. Don’t read newspapers or try to keep up on the news, it’s an unproductive waste of time. Subscribe to an aggregator and/or follow a couple of blogs you like; you’ll get all the news that’s actually important. Try to go to bed on time; that important thing on the internet keeping you up, isn’t really that important.

Knowing Your Mission

I was going to post on something else today, but I just read “What then Should a Man Do” at Bright Darkness, and started to reflect.

The second point of his post is that a man should embrace a quest. My question is, how does one find one’s quest in life?

Growing up, I always did what I supposed to do. Succeeded at school, graduated university, found a job, buy a house. The next steps were to pursue marriage, raise a family, and continue to advance in my career. I would possibly enter politics upon my retirement.

So far, all I’ve accomplished has just been from stumbling through and doing what was expected of me; there was never any sense of purpose or aim to it; I had/have no real mission.

The closest I’ve had was a desire to start a family, but is/was that just doing what was expected of me? Even so, is that in and of itself a purpose? It would seem rather small to devote myself solely to raising a family, with no other meaning to my life.

I entered my career simply because my employer was the first to hire me for a decent job (a big consideration after a year of underemployment and living at home). I have been questioning my career path, as it is unfulfilling. Yet, maybe as I advance and my responsibilities increase, it will become more fulfilling. Or maybe not. Do I want to just be a desk jockey for the rest of my life, just another cog in the bureaucratic machine? (Now I’m talking in cliches, so I’ll wrap this up).

Anyway, one thing I want from this blog is to find a mission, a purpose. (Or possibly that there is no purpose, so I can give up the search to embrace nihilism).

I’ve tried to find a purpose before, but never had much success. I’ve always assumed I would stumble on it as I went through life, but here I am a few years shy of 30, having accomplished nothing noteworthy, spending my days in pointless government busywork, spending my evenings in front of the computer. I desire something more.

So the question: how does one find a purpose?

PS: I know that these first few posts have have had a lot of personal reflection on myself and my life. I’m trying to establish to myself what I hope to accomplish with this blog. In the future, my rate of posting will go down (the only reason I’ve had one major post a day so far is the spare time the long weekend has provided) but there should also be more analysis of issues in the future and less of me narcissisticly muttering to myself about myself.

Reflections on Easter

As a Christian, I will occasionally use this space to reflect on my faith.

Today is Easter, the day that commemorates the single most important event in Christianity: Jesus’ resurrection. From Luke 24:1-12, 36-53:

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.

While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”

When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.

He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

Upon Jesus’ resurrection the entire Christian faith rests. Without it, Christianity is worthless. Only through Christ’s death and resurrection can we be saved.

Apart from the resurrection there is no hope of salvation, no forgiveness for sins, and no hope for eternal life.

The resurrection violates everything we know about life and death. It is impossible, it is unscientific, and it is most unbelievable. Yet, I believe it.

The question is, do I believe it because I was raised to believe it or do I believe it because I actually believe it?

I used to know firmly. When I was young, I could not conceive of not believing it. I had a crisis of faith in university and my faith came through intact and stronger, although, it was a very close thing; there were a couple weeks when I almost discarded the faith I had built my life upon.

On an intellectual level I accepted that the resurrection occurred.  I read the Case for Christ and other apologetic works for the resurrection and could well argue a debate about the historical validity of the resurrection.

But I know that I’m smart enough to  intellectually justify almost anything to myself.

So, was I just justifying my prior beliefs to myself, or was I actually intellectually honest to myself? I believe the latter, but then again, I would believe that wouldn’t I?

Over the years, my faith has slowly been withering.  I find myself questioning if I actually believe in God anymore. Unlike the first time, where my questioning was more a sudden onset of intellectual crisis, this has been more of a slow chipping away and wearing down of my faith.

I find myself struggling with sin which I can not beat and have given up even fighting. I find myself questioning the existence of the God I’ve pledged my devotion and loyalty to. I rarely read my Bible anymore. I still pray, but often barely believing God hears it. I don’t feel God in my life. I remember the promises of the Bible and do not see them manifesting in my life.

So, I’m trying again. I’ve started reading the Bible again on an almost daily basis, and am trying to pray more with more faith. I’ve started going to services in the evening which are more traditional and liturgical than the evangelical churches I’m used to, in addition to morning services. I plan to read more books on my faith.

If  God is there, if the resurrection is real, may He renew my faith. If He is not, may I learn that and be strong enough to accept that.

Now, off to the evening Easter service. God bless.