A New Beginning at the End of the World

I started blogging in 2004, having no idea what would come of it. It is thanks to Huw Richardson that I started at all. We both worked 3rd shift at a substance abuse recovery center; there was lots of down time in the wee hours. Blogging was relatively new, before the Facebook Era, and The Orthodixie Blog took off.

After ten years, thousands of blog posts, hundreds of podcasts, a couple awards and a few books … here we are: Patheos.

For a while now the ol’ blog has been pretty dormant, save for podcast plugs. I took an official hiatus from blogging and podcasting back in 2012 and haven’t gotten up to speed since. At a recent speaking engagement I was asked, “Why did you stop?” Surprising myself by honesty, I said: “Because I couldn’t find the funny in the world ending.” And that’s true. Or was …

When I announced that I was going to get back into podcasting and blogging at the beginning of 2013, I received the following email:

Father Joseph,

Since the comments have been turned off on your blog I am writing this after reading of your return from hiatus to posting.

RESPONSE: I think it is time to close up shop. The last couple of years it has been redundant. Attempts at humor can be rated as from mediocre to non-existent, your news items repetitive and boring. I would advise you concentrate on PODCASTS and writing books.

Everyone needs a change. Make it so.

Thank you for the good years.

I stewed over that email for a spell.

Eventually, I replied to the author of the email, saying: “Thanks! Good idea.”

Now, I wonder.

FUNNY

There was a time when I wanted to write sitcoms for television. My plan was to start out as a standup comedian and work my way toward a “real job.” Alas, I lasted all of five months in Southern California before returning home to North Carolina to resume working in radio. But the attraction to comedy, the study of the craft of making people laugh, remained.

Years later, interviewing for a Clinical Pastoral Education position while in seminary, I lamented how tiring it was – everyone expecting me to entertain them all the time. My interviewer, who was later to be my supervisor, asked: “How do you feel when you get home after a night in social settings?” Exhausted, I replied. He said, “If I bring you on board for the summer, I want you to leave your sense of humor at home.” I griped to the wife about this all the way from the mental hospital back to the seminary. How dare he? Funny defines me!

Halfway through the 12-week placement we chaplains all went out for dinner. Long story short, I let my hair down and fell into Mr Entertainment. They were amazed! They were angry when I told them that the Supervisor had told me to leave funny home. Their enthusiasm got me all hyped up. I met with my Boss the next day and related the night’s events. He smiled and said: “I wanted you to learn that you could turn it off.” For me, it was a good lesson, a relief – a blessing!

WORLD ENDING

I have recently come to the conclusion that the world is not ending – at least, not right now. [Having been reared a Southern Baptist in the 60s & 70s, this is news to me!] Hence, this blog. In time, it may be funny; other times, not. But, while there is time let’s share it together. I’m the Chief of Sinners, a lousy pilgrim, and a wretch of a man, but I believe I have found the Pearl of Great Price. May the radiance of Its luster shine through even my foolishness.

Your prayers.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s