Monday Morning Confessional

Enneagram Three
I confess that my wife was gone for most of the weekend & I had the boys all by myself. I confess that we all made it through w/out a scratch and with a rekindled respect and appreciation for mom. I confess that if “marrying up” is a real thing, I did.
I confess that I’m headed to Conception Abbey to pray with the monks, see Fr. Adam, and spend time w/my AMO fellows, so I may not be a very faithful blogger this week, but I will be a better person next week.
I confess that last week I interacted via email with some of my theological heroes around a story I’m writing for The Huffington Post. I confess that this was an amazing thing, even if it really had nothing to do with them caring anything about who I am or what I’m doing, and if you asked them who Tim Suttle is, most of them wouldn’t even remember my name. Nevertheless, I got an email from N.T. Wright, Walter Brueggemann, John Milbank, William Cavanaugh, Stanley Hauerwas, Brent Strawn, Jamie Smith, Ellen Charry, Miroslav Volf, Brian McLaren, and Sarah Coakley last week. If I was a “woot” person, now would be the time. But I’m not.
I confess that I am terrified of failure.
I confess that I’m a #3 on the Enneagram – pretty sure anyway – which means that my basic desire is to feel valuable & worthwhile. In my journey, I have filled this constant need to be valuable & worthwhile by accomplishing everything I can. To fail at something strikes a blow to my (false) self-worth. As a #3 (and a broken person), I have spent most of my life worrying that I’ll never amount to anything. This means that the hardest part of my discipleship will always be to simply accept the unconditional love of God. I confess that I’m struggling to accept and live in the unconditional love of God today – and I’m so thankful that God’s love is something I can count on, even when I would rather try it my way.
I confess that I actually watch & enjoy The New Girl… is that a guilty pleasure or just wrong?
I confess that I feel like I live a whole parallel life within my own head. I have a constant conversation happening in my own mind which is focused chiefly on epistemology & ontology. Who is this God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? How has this God been revealed to us? How does it all work – this life, this redemption – and especially what part am I (and are we), meant to play? How can I think and live and act and be faithful to God? It never stops… ever. I confess that I wish that I could make it stop sometimes. It’s so exhausting.

I made my confession – now make yours!

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  • I confess that the last time my wife left me with all of my kids for a prolonged period of time, we also survived. We even managed to get some things accomplished around the house. The true confession is that I went three days and two nights without taking off my clothes, or even my boots. I literally fell ONTO my bed (no covers) at the end of each day and woke fully clothed and booted the next morning. I am not proud of this.

    I confess that I do not know what the Enneagram is. I do constantly dread yet expect some level of failure. When I fail, I feel worthless, but when I go a long period of time without recognizing my failings, I worry that I'm not stretching myself far enough. I fear becoming a Pharisee. I confess that I have, on occasion, appeased my concerns about becoming self-righteous by making a long mental list of all of the places where I am failing. I include things like, "I bought a shirt from Wal-mart which probably contributed to the world's slavery pandemic, when I could have taken extra time to find one at a thrift store that would have put no money into hands that contribute to these atrocities" and, "I drank the none fair-trade coffee from Quick Trip because that fair-trade stuff they offered for a while tasted like pond scum". I can put together a pretty good list and make sure that I never begin to feel like failure is too far away. I confess that I try to never stray too far from, "forgive me Lord for I am a sinner".

    I confess that the unconditional love of God is my constant Theological MMA match. It is an internal battle. With my head, I defend it. I realize that God's love and grace are essential for humanities very existence. Any attempt to minimize it is an attempt to fail to understand the depth of our depravity. If God's love was even a little bit conditional, not one of us could earn it. My head knows this. With my guts I doubt it. I confess that I was raised to believe that if something sounds too good to be true, it is. How could God love me like that? Too good to be true? With my heart, I cling to it. I so desperately want God to love like that. There are so many parts of the Scriptures that make God's love hard to understand, or even find, but with my heart of hearts, I hope He loves like I believe he does.

    I confess that the world in my head is not tiring at all. Unfortunately, coming out of my head can be the hard work. Too often I would rather stay in my own head wrestling with the nature of absolute truth than discussing jobs, and kids, and cars, and sports, and weather, and whatever other topics are necessary to beginning to build friendships. Sometimes I'd rather talk AT people about what is rattling through my brain, rather than talk WITH them about whatever is going on in their lives. I confess that I need to work harder at staying out of my own head so I can engage those around me, (my family especially), more effectively.

    I confess that I am having trouble finding time to write on my own blog, yet can't wait to make my confession here each week. I'm not sure how to feel about this.

  • I confess that mondays are difficult at staying on task especially with a very flexible schedule and being the only one in the office on Mondays make it even more difficult! I sometimes wish I had a 9-5 job just so I can feel more on track and feel like I accomplish something during any given day! #verylittleaccomplishedtoday!

  • I confess that I definitely am a woot person, so I am wooting for you over here.

    I confess that sometimes I'm too much of an editor, and I feel the need to tell you that New Girl doesn't have a "The" in front of it. (I am also kind of irritated that I can't make the title of that show italicized because "HTML tags" means absolutely nothing to me.) Anyway, I wouldn't feel bad about liking New Girl. If it makes you feel better, you can insist that you're being progressive by being a man who enjoys a show with a female lead.

  • If watching The New Girl is wrong, I don't want to be right, Tim! 🙂

    BTW — I confess to being a 7 on the Enneagram.