In Luke’s gospel, Jesus does a lot of partying. He’s described as someone who is constantly eating and hanging with people that normally someone of his pedigree would avoid. He eats with the rich, the poor, and sinners of all kind. Some of his more infamous dinner guests are tax collectors and prostitutes. To eat with someone in antiquity was to declare social solidarity, which was a statement if someone was ever going to make a statement. It was to take a step outside of the social norm and embrace people whom you’d normally ignore and definitely not fellowship with. But this wasn’t the case with Jesus, someone who lived his life as a beautiful contrast to the way of the world.
I discovered a new television channel the other night. There was nothing new on my DVR and my Netflix account wasn’t working properly, so I was stuck having to search through commercial filled TV channels to find something to watch. It was a rough night…and also the epitome of ‘first world problems.’ Eventually, though, I stumbled across the AXS TV channel. It’s a channel that usually goes unnoticed, tucked away past my usual television stomping ground of ESPN, A& E and the History Channel. Turns out, the AXS channel shows concerts and other music-inspired media. Not too bad of a discovery. And it just so happened that at nine o’clock on a Sunday evening an older John Mayer concert was on. For those who know me, this is a beautiful discovery analogous to finding a substantial balance left on a Starbucks gift card.
John Mayer inspired a previous blog post of mine because, well, I love him. (Actually, I love his music… not him per say) It’s true. I am a big a fan of his and he said something on AXS TV that was captivating. John was describing a musician’s journey and shared that musicians as a lot are all about continuity. There is this continuation among st musicians where you can pick out their sound and style and connect it to people who’ve gone before them. John mentioned his music is heavily influenced by the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmy Hendrix. According to John, he was drawn to these two in particular because their guitar playing was ‘otherworldly.’ There was something about the way they not only played their instruments, but embodied the musical experience that to him was life-changing. John believed Stevie and Jimmy were two quiet souls who tapped into this alternate existence and he had them to thank for his current sound. In his mind they became otherworldly.
I recently finished a month long writing challenge called the National Novel Writing Month. It was thirty days of writing with the goal of achieving 50,000 words by the 30th. I finished this morning with 109 pages, 50, 706 words, and 1, 132 paragraphs to show for it. Thirty days ago, the prospect of writing 50,000 words in a month was, to say the least, a daunting task. In fact, I tried to lessen the difficulty by claiming I’d pursue 40,000 instead. Little by little, though, I stuck to it and finished. The challenge itself has taught me not only about writing but also about discipline, pursuing your dreams, and the power of story. I thought I’d share a few insights I gleaned from the challenge.
It’s an incredible feeling to know that the ‘end’ is in sight. Often times I go jogging from my house to a little park about a mile away. My house is sandwiched between two streets, one of them leading to main road. On my run back home, I turn on my street and have a straight shot until I reach my doorstep. It’s my favorite part of the run because I can see my goal in the near future and all I have to do is stay the course.