Last night I went to my first book launch. I managed to throw it quite far. I like that one. But, silly joke aside. No, it was not the launch of my first book, but the first time I have attended the launch of someone else’s book. Just so that we’re clear on the details.
Despite the content being quite timely for me, the venue was also on the way home from work. “Schweet!”, I thought, when I saw the invite on Facebook, “Let’s go!”
I arrived a bit early, and the author greeted me, and we both tried to figure out our connection beyond Facebook. So, last night when I got home, I gave my mind a good scrubbing and realised. It was on Myspace that I saw my first Brett “Fish” Anderson post. Can’t remember how or when it happened exactly (but could speculate over a glass of wine, I suppose), but that’s the gist of it. Many, many years ago, before Facebook, on Myspace. And then I subscribed to “Thort for the Week”, and am still on that mailing list.
Nevertheless, the book. It is titled “i, church” (lower case i comma church) and in a nutshell is about what church could be. Many people (I even know some) these days have a big beef with religion, church, faith, God, those pesky Christians in the office, and lots of other stuff that’s getting mixed up. I sometimes struggle to figure out some distinctions myself, to be honest, so don’t blame anyone either. But, after much consideration, I made a conscious decision some time ago that the only way to live well and reasonably, was to follow the teachings of Christ. In my own clunky way. (Not making it up as I go along, but rather making mistakes and learning as I go along.) Hell, if you’ll pardon that awkward pun, Clunky is my middle name these days!
Own decision. Hectic. Really. Have you read some of the stuff? But somehow, somehow …
Back to the beef that is non-Vegetarian. I tried being an atheist. Didn’t work, it was too intangible and aggresive for my sensibilities. Checked out some other religions and faith-based movements (there are a lot, it turns out) and it kind of seemed like, well, hard work. Like hard work and then we’ll see if it’s good enough and even though you can be snuffed in a moment, yeah … your actions and thoughts will redeem you. Wha-aat? I can save myself? Have you seen the size of the universe, mate? The only thing that triggers vague recognition is worshipping nature (our kindly host) while destroying it, despite best intentions. Now that is something I see happening everywhere.
But back to the meat. Following Christ is more than sitting in a room for an hour and a half, following a recipe and nodding vigorously. It’s about, as you go about your days and nights, seeing good works for your hands to do and then bloody well doing it. This is about the people around you, with no categories. About plucking your head from your designer/clean/fuzzy navel (hey, butt even) and looking about you. Understanding Love. And then sharing it. Lots and lots of it. Weird, awkward love, as in … “I don’t know you at all but see you’re in a pickle and look here, what do you know, I have pickle remover but no pickle.” Not that good works alone will get you anywhere. But a heart geared towards those who are created equal to me-you may. Even those people who make me-you want to run for the hills, often called enemies, that idiot, and other less flattering names, etc. It’s about getting over myself to do those things that are mine to do. (What’s so difficult about doing good things, I wonder? But maybe that’s another blog post.)
So … that is what inspired me to go to this launch. It may launch me into some real things. Remove me from a desk every now and then, and into a more meaningful existence, day by day. Monday through Sunday.
So, I can’t wait to start reading this book. And then doing. Instead of going to church, to actually be the church. Part of the body of Christ, as it were.
This is no easy-peasy decision, and chances are good I will fail as well. In fact, the forecast is that I will suck at it more often than is not embarassing and chances are I may even lose a few friends. I hope not though. But I will try to do the things I see before me, with the help of others who feel the same. Those things that make life really wonderful and worth living.
#BrettFishAnderson #ichurch #IntentionalLife