This blog began as a place to talk about recovery from habit. It began as a place to talk about how good it is to be free from bad habits; from addiction.
It began that way, but then I quickly realized that freedom wasn’t the non-stop bask-in-the-sunshine joyride that I had been anticipating. I discovered that the rest of my life was still there waiting for me in the freedom, the same way that it had been between my moments of digression and selfish indulgence.
The despotic duo of pornography and lust was my habit; my addiction. It still is. I built up a habit over years and years of sneaking around and doing things in secret that I believed was wrong but enjoyed too much. I feel like my career with a happy habit was very short-lived – far outlived by my career of unsuccessfully quitting the habit forever. But with time I got better at it. I figured a lot of things out. I learned to manage these things – not to act out in the same frustrating patterns I used to. I spent a lot of time thinking about it and working out how I ended up on the path I took for so long, and now I’m writing about it (and other things).
When my blog was titled – P-rn Free, I also had a tagline that went like this:
The joy of life without.
I often found myself thinking that perhaps it’s not honest to talk about “the joy of life without” when there’s not actually a whole lot of joy sometimes. At the same time I am committed to the idea that joy is attainable and to be looked for and expected. I want joy. I enjoy it when I find it. I believe that there is a joy in the mundane and in the everyday ordinariness of life. I’m not sure it can be expected constantly, but I certainly have high hopes for regularly.
You could call this search for joy a lot of things. I believe that everyone is on this journey whether they want to call it that or not. We may talk about it in different ways or we may not talk about it at all, but we’re all looking for something.
As I thought about a new title for my blog, I spent weeks and weeks weighing various options and eventually landed at The Slow Search for Solid Ground. It seemed to encapsulate all of the different things that I felt were important to this search for me.
What might not be apparent in this title – The Slow Search for Sweet Solid Ground is the way that this search flows from my faith. In short, I’m a Christian. I believe that we all undertake this search in one way or another and that ultimately no one finds any joy outside of God. God is the source of joy. God is the source of life.
God is spirit but as much as God’s divine nature is so utterly unlike our own, it is possible to experience and to know something of God’s presence in this life. I believe that this is a truth embodied in the life of Jesus who somehow was both God and human together in a single life. In Jesus we see the love of God that was always there from the beginning. In Jesus we see the divine desire for our wellbeing, our happiness and our reliance on God. In the humanity and the death of Jesus we see God’s willingness to temper his power and his brilliance to draw close to his and to save us from our ineptitude; our cycle of destructive and selfish pursuit of the things that God was offering us all along – for the small price of trust and a little self discipline.
To be simple and maybe a bit stupid, God wants us to be happy – it’s just not the path you’ll see for sale in the typical marketing campaign on the billboards we see all around us every day. It’s a shared happiness – it’s a global happiness that at times comes at the expense of personal pleasure. I believe it’s a communal happiness that God is holding out, and that God wants us all to be a part of.
Having said all that I must be honest in admitting that I cannot say that I have been able to fully embrace or be embraced by this beautiful happiness that I believe is God’s ideal for us all. It feels fleeting at times and yet at the same time it feels within reach. It even feels like it is within me at times…but not all the times.
Thus the Search – the Search for Sweet Solid Ground. I want to find the joy I’ve been promised. I want to enjoy more of it. I want to understand it so that I can share it. I want to walk in it every day. I want to live and to breathe it.
Sweet obviously refers to the joy.
Slow is about the patience and about the process. Slow was one of the last words I landed on and I knew that it was the missing piece. We find the solid ground through a process – through personal growth and discovery. There is joy in that process and there is solid ground in that process, but to get to the SWEET solid ground and to build a retirement home there, it takes time. It takes a bit of work. It takes faith.
I think Solid Ground speaks for itself. I want to feel the roots of truth beneath my feet and to know that nothing can knock me down. I want to stand on the immovable mountain and to look out over the beauty of everything else and I want to breathe it in.
The Slow Search for Sweet Solid Ground – this is my account of the day in day out journey I’m on. It’s not all philosophical navel gazing – at least that’s the plan – there’s some urban cycling, thoughts on sports fandom, parenting, work life and any other noteworthy happenings that come up along the way. This is the view as I make my way.
I remember the first time I saw someone wearing the shirt – “Don’t follow me. I’m lost.” I thought it was so funny and clever. Also true in many cases. I hope I’m not lost, although I feel like it sometimes. But now, thanks to the internet, I’m happy to say that you can “follow” me even if I am lost. May you find the way. May you find your way into the delightful presence of your creator with my help or without it. Please feel free to “follow” me as I go, and I hope that it is of some use or entertainment to you, but whatever you do, be sure to follow the one who will actually take you to the place you need to go.