Discovering One’s Self

Reaching my age has been rather easy. I have always been well fed and adequately sheltered. I can not think of a time when I have not felt loved — by family, friends and even many acquaintances. I have taken note of my likes and dislikes, my strengths and weaknesses. I have begun to think I know me pretty well. Can it be I have little else to discover?

Consider that rhetorical. Apparently there is quite a bit yet to discover. Most of it subtle and some of it less than flattering. Actually, much of what I am discovering is not necessarily new, just newly revealed. I guess one of the first things is that I am much more observant of these matters now than in previous decades of my life. A second is a bent toward purveying certain personal convictions as absolutes, or worse, holding onto certain convictions so tightly that I am blinded to what are quite often very simple truths. This is not to say that all my recent discoveries are of a dark nature. In fact it is worth noting that I am finding that other people are much more intelligent and interesting then I often first thought.

On a physical level I find an odd satisfaction in knowing that, while my son can outright torture me in basketball, I do still have the power to arbitrarily ground him. Another wonderful discovery is that while I tire pretty much at the same rate as a three year old, a good nap is equally as restorative.

Last Weekend

Back in August I mentioned that my bride began a new job. Last weekend the organization she works for held a conference at which my bride had to work. I, on the other hand, was free to attend some very interesting talks and break out sessions — and some less than interesting sessions as well.

The music for the event was provided by the extremely talented Annie Moses Band. There was also a ventriloquist (David Pendleton) who jeopardized my continence more than a few times.

The single most moving event of the weekend for me was Gary Haugen’s presentation of the work International Justice Mission is engaged in. Here is IJM’s “Four-Fold Purpose” as stated on the website:

  • Victim Relief – Relieve the victim of the abuse currently being committed.
  • Perpetrator Accountability – Bring accountability and just consequences under the law to the specific perpetrator(s) of abuse.
  • Structural Prevention – Prevent the abuse from being committed against others who are also at risk by strengthening community factors that are likely to deter potential oppressors, reduce the vulnerability of at-risk populations and empower local authorities to stop such abuses.
  • Victim Aftercare – Provide access to services to help victims transition to their new lives and to encourage long-term success.

I make it a point to avoid purchasing books at conferences as a general rule. Such purchases tend not to be very thoughtful but rather emotional purchases. I walked by the IJM table several times over the remainder of the conference and ultimately disobeyed my ‘rule’ by buying Gary’s book “The Good News about Injustice“. Oh, and in case you are wondering, the good news about injustice is that God is against it. I will be posting more on this issue, this book and the work of IJM in the near future. Suffice it to say that I am glad for my disobedience.