I just turned down a job today. I took Monday and Tuesday off of work to interview for the job, and on the drive home decided that it was not for me.
There were several things that were interesting about the whole process. First, I never imagined I would spend so much time in an interview process talking about the content of my blog. In your blog you said this about your current position.... and In your blog you seem to deal with this.....it was surreal. I almost felt like a rockstar facing the poparazzi.
In particular they focused in on two things. One was my personal journey of ministry, especially as it pertains to being here in Colorado Springs. I have made no bones inside and outside of this church community that this has been a difficult road for me here in Colorado Springs. I have went from feeling accomplished and successful to feeling trapped and destined to fail in many ways. In many of those posts I was raw, and straight forward about what I felt and how I felt. And it was out there for all the world to see. And, to this day, I dont regret talking about those things at all. Not only is my openness and authenticity one of my key strengths in my blog, it is one of the key strengths in my life and in my ministry. And it is a key step in my journey toward health and wholeness, even if it hurts me a little in professional circles.
The other, strangely enough, was my occasional mention of moderate use of alcohol (I have never been drunk). One person on the hiring committee was concerned that this would affect the youth ministry adversely. An somewhat understandable concern. The committee wanted to be unanimous, so they decided to enter a two week discernment process on what they should do. And that they should review my blog for concerns in the meantime.
In the process I was told that I was too open and too self-disclosing in this forum by other members of the hiring team. I honestly think that this was more about them than me. I think that these people wanted me to come work with them and were frustrated that what I shared was hurting that process. And since I like these people and respect them, I wanted to see if they had a word of wisdom for me. So, I went back to December 2004. I re-read my entire blog over the last year and a half. And I asked myself....should I be sharing what I am sharing? Am I too open--enough so that I dont have proper boundaries?
And I discovered about 3 things that I wondered if they should have been shared. One was about struggles with dating, and included discovering someone was married in the middle of the first date. (I did admit to also having a drink she made on that date, I did not mention that she was African-American). But being as I did not do anything wrong on that date...and the story was pretty dang funny, I kept it on my blog.
Another was the purchase of a calandar called "Prarie Girls" this spring. I was a fairly modest calandar of women looking pretty and appearing to work on a farm. It was $4. This probably was not the wisest decision to blog about or to purchase. I was feeling ornery. Which, for anyone who knows me, tends to happen a little bit. So, I regretted posting it, but I left it anyway.
Finally, I posted a joke about a pretend forthcoming film with Halle Berry and Jessica Alba called--"Brokeback 2: America's Next Blockbuster". It was a fake movie poster. A little wrong I admit. But several months later I still looked at the pic and thought....dang that is pretty dang funny. So I left it up there as well.
In the process, I got to look back at my journey since that day in December 2004 when I started this blog. And that was a very enlightening experience.
I started blogging to somehow, someway begin devleoping my writing skills and demonstrating them to a broader audience. I do that still, but less often than before. Then it also became a social endeavor, getting to meet and know people throughout the world. That continues to go well. Also, my blogging experience has allowed me to network with leaders in ministry and youth ministry. I am grateful for that, and even got a few books out of the deal. And, my bloggging experience has become a learning experience, getting to read about lots of different things and different perspectives.
But most of all, as I reviewed, it was interesting to look at the journey of my life over the last two years. It has been fun to see the highs and the lows. To relive the joys and to try and skim over the failures. To see how I have learned and grown in the process of what has become in many ways a spiritual discipline.
And, most of all, to see through all of the waves that I have riden through in the last two years, that I am still standing bold and standing strong.