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Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Working On Work.

NB: This will be somewhat ranty at points. You have been warned.

It seems like the more I work, the less I want to. Perhaps this isn't a particularly radical thing, and is just "normal" for many people. I realise that a rather large percentage of people do jobs that they don't enjoy, or that they aren't passionate about, and that I should be grateful to even have a job, and all that sort of thing. And the jobs that I have actually are pretty great. I mean, I work at one of the most recognisable Christian companies in Sydney; and my other job is getting paid to do music. But it's still - work. (I do want to reinforce, I'm not complaining about my jobs specifically! Please don't hear that. Not the intention of this post.)

I'm not really built for work, I think. Part of it's just in terms of what I'm good at/not good at. For instance, I'm very much not good at anything that involves physical labour, or going fast. I'm not good at doing the same thing over and over again. I'm not good at selling things.
But it's also just - I can't handle full-time work. I just can't. I've been doing full-time (and a bit more) hours the past couple of weeks, and it's been killing me. I'm only 26, so you wouldn't think it would affect me that much, but it does.

It seems that if I don't have some space to create, to work on my own projects a bit, to just play around here and there - I kinda die a little. I already found this out on the extreme end back in 2013, but that was over a full year, with a lot of other junk happening as well. But I didn't think that would happen if I didn't have all that junk. Turns out it still does - but I'm able to tell early enough, so I can keep myself healthy. Work tires me out more than it probably does most people. Or at least, it does when I haven't gotten enough sleep, and I'm working 9 to 5. I manage, and I pull through. Part of it's probably just me staying up too late too often. I'm catching myself falling into microsleeps at my desk now and then, which isn't good. I used to have those back at the warehouse, too.

The thing is, if money wasn't an issue, I know exactly what I'd be doing. Not lounging around, or watching Netflix, or playing computer games all the time. There would probably be some of that - but not heaps.
I have so many projects, that I'm super-passionate about. So many. A good number are ones that I feel that God has given to me to do. But, often, I can't do them - or can't do them to the level that I want to. Crux; Son, Brother, Bride; the Creative Space; sharing my stories and songs - and that's just the ones that I've felt God moving in specifically, not even mentioning things like board games, the musical I've written, the language I'm making....

But that's not how the world works. At least, not yet. They're just crazy dreams, right? They can never sustain you, never get you anywhere.... that's all you hear. One day, perhaps, the world might change. Might understand that if everyone is actually doing what they're passionate about, the world would be a much better place. That things could still get done, because there are people passionate about everything. We've got a lot of people in this world.

I don't know how I'm going to go in this world. I know I'm not really made for it, and that's kinda the point. But it's still....rather difficult to figure out what I should be doing, sometimes. You know that God can do amazing things, and can make anything happen. There are people that make a living out of doing some of those things that I mentioned. But not that many. And there's a difference between what God can do, and what he does do. And it's hard to know sometimes which way he's prodding.

And more and more, I know it's going to be tempting to make the stable choice. The responsible choice. Because more and more, I'm heading towards living a co-dependent life, rather than an independent one. Where other people actually rely on me, and I rely on them, to help get through the day-to-day. And if I run off and do something crazy - well, that's not particularly reliable, is it? But I also know that God does his best work in the uncomfortable places, on the edges of cliffs and at the bottom of trenches.

I don't really know where I'm going with all of this. But I needed to get it down. To help me get through another day of work.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018


It's a bit late, but I needed to get this down. Been a while again. I actually have another one on my mind, so I might do that tomorrow - imagine that! Me doing consecutive posts! Insanity. I'm also at Beyond Festival (which you should totally come to) this weekend, so I may do a post or two on what happens there afterwards.

Yesterday, as you may or may not have known, was International Men's Day. I didn't know until I saw a post about it on my Facebook feed. Today, I heard that an old male friend of mine passed away last night. As in, he was actually both an old friend and an old male. And a good man.

We hear a lot about the negative men in our society these days. They get plastered over the news, slammed through the courts and criminal systems, and get talked about a lot online. But you don't hear much about good men - about gentlemen.

Now, I am not meaning gentlemen in the sense of, "Oh, I do say dear fellow, won't you join me in a spot of tea? Let's open the door for the madam, shall we?" I'm not meaning British and Victorian, or like a knight or something. The thing is, people often don't understand the meaning of the word gentle; or use it to mean something different these days. We tend to think of it as meaning not strong, or delicate, and very feminine. But that's not what I'm meaning here at all; and that's not what it means when you're reading about it in the Bible. For instance, when it's talking about gentleness being one of the fruits of the Spirit, or saying that the meek - the gentle - shall inherit the earth.

No. It's talking about strength under control. And that's not just referring to physical strength. It's also in reference to mental strength, emotional strength, spiritual strength. Each of these are very real things, that can be used as weapons just as much as physical strength can, if not used in a good way; if not kept under control. You probably know all too many examples of that. Men that shout and argue to get their way. Men that manipulate people emotionally, and then hurt them deeply. Men that dominate discussions with their intellect, and use it as an excuse to shut others out. Men that claim the moral high ground, because they've been to that fancy Bible college, or even because they have a position at a church.

These aren't gentle men. And they aren't what men are supposed to be like. Instead, these are examples of the brokenness of this world at work - and how sin has corrupted and tainted our perceptions of what men should be like. We think that this is normal, that men are supposed to be dominating and strong, that they should take charge and get their way. Sin has taken truth and twisted it to its own ends; because that is what sin does. It cannot construct something new. It just twists and taints what is already there. Science tells us that men are, on average, physically stronger. But this is not because they are meant to dominate over others. Rather, they are meant to use this strength to serve and protect those around them. To help, not to hurt. Strength under control; gentleness.

I have had the good fortune of knowing some gentlemen in my time. Some were strong physically, some in other ways; but each knew how and when to use that strength, rather than it controlling them. And through them, I hope that I have learned a little of how to be a gentleman too.

Men - stop letting yourselves be characterised by people's perceptions. Let's redefine manhood, redefine masculinity. Let's make it gentle. Let's make it amazing. Let's make it fantastic.