I keep having the urge to write but I don’t have a topic. I just have a lump. Somewhere between my chest and my throat, I feel something a bit swollen and heavy. Something like a repressed cry, but not quite. It feels more like a repressed blog. I’ve been thinking a lot lately. Not the fun kind of thinking, where you explore places in your soul and how they connect to the greater rhythms of life and Jesus, but the kind of thinking that is necessary. I have a requirement. An appointment. They have a problem that I can solve. This one needs a strategy, or a cleverly designed pathway around the snags that daily-ness drops in front of us.
Required thinking is necessary. I guess this is where the term “required” comes from. Problems need solutions, and reports need signatures. Obstacles need overcomers to know how to, well, you know, overcome. Required thinking is part of how I pay the bills, and keep this machine running. I assume it is still supposed to be running.
This kind of thinking has been persistent for awhile and it makes me tired. So sometimes writing helps me process, or even purge.
But I have been aware that I tend to write two distinct types of styles. I write the cleverly constructed pathways, prying loose the paradigms of our mental prisons. Think Differently. It’s fun to write, and it’s fun to engage with people who are aching to exit the box. Or people who have recently exited the box, and are trying to figure out how to live in a box-less atmosphere. I like it. But it is a bit too much like the kind of required thinking I have been doing. And then something else stirs in me.
I also write these things that prowl around in my heart. Things that are constructed more of my own personal stirrings than of some attempt to change the world. These urges and swellings in my soul push for release not because I want to change something but because I am being changed.
So in the midst of my expertise, thinking and problem solving, I am feeling the need to humanize. Do you know “humanize”?
Back in the dark ages of music (the 80’s) someone invented the drum machine. They were programmable sound machines that could be sequenced to become the perfect drummer. Sort of. The perfect drummer, as in, spot on, immutable, never varying rhythms. Perfection. Boring, hum-drum, never a flaw perfection. Music with no flaws and music with no soul. Literally and genre-ically.
While musicians loved the ability to program and layer amazing and complex beats, almost as a whole the music world began to notice something. They began to notice the life-less-ness of perfection. No variance; mathematically perfect beats provided a seamless and yet lifeless backdrop for multiple styles of music. Drum machine perfection was sucking the life out of music until some genius developed a solution. The drum programs were given a new feature. This feature was called “humanize”.
“Humanize” was a programmed feature that inserted random imperfections into the perfect milieu of the programmed beat. Flaws. Beats slightly before or after their mathematically perfect assignment. Humanize. Built in flaws and mistakes. Amazingly these mistakes sounded less like a machine and more like a human. They gave feeling and life back to dying tracks. They gave soul to an electronic impostor.
In the midst of making decisions and signing reports, in the midst of solving problems and suggesting strategies, I think the lump in my throat wants to say something. I think it wants to say, “I am not a mechanical impostor, I am a man, with flaws and weakness. Please notice the man behind the signatures and the Tweets”
I think my humanize function wants to put on display something besides just my expertise. I want my tears to matter. I want to be known for my needs and uncovered heart, just as much as I want to be known as a world-changing thinker.
I want to do more than help others become themselves, I want to be becoming myself. I don’t mean buy a VW van and drive to Haight-Ashbury, I just mean that I want to be more than the guy with answers. I want to be the guy that legitimately needs help. Help from God. Help from people. I want to be the guy that has needs just as much as I have answers.
I don’t have a blog to help you today, I just have one that says, “I am flawed and I have needs, and some days I don’t feel like being a world-changing, ever-encouraging well of Thinking Differently. I just want to be seen and be loved”.
Okay, my throat feels better.
That is today. I wonder what tomorrow will be like.