Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ó Dhorchaidhe

Cease your present activities for a moment. Now, close your eyes. Imagine yourself standing in a country field in the middle of County Galway, Ireland. If you cannot picture such a scene (I refer to modern-day Northern Ireland), at least envision yourself standing in a field in the middle of Eire. Now, let your senses free! You can hear uilleann pipes playing from afar. You can smell a multitude of pleasing and natural smells. You can almost taste Shepherd's pie, washed down with a brewing spot of Irish breakfast tea. You can feel the smooth sensation of the soft, grassy surface beneath your bare feet. Now, you rejoice and beam from ear to ear as you then hear a few people calling from a distance. After a few moments, you stroll to the nearby ocean. You see me and what appears to be a sage, the two of us loading up a leather boat. You wonder if we are preparing for a long, long journey.....


That aforementioned 'sage,' a great spiritual inspiration of mine, is once credited to have said the following:

"'Soldiers of Christ, be strengthened in faith unfeigned and in spiritual weapons, for we are in the confines of Hell. '"So, be on the watch and be brave.'"

(Anonymous), 'The Voyage of Saint Brendan.' xxiii.

Thus spoke the Irish missionary and oceanic navigator Saint Bréanainn of Clonfert to his pious band of Irish monks on the open sea. With this quote I can easily compare my life. To me, that story of that Irish Christian of old is a spiritual tool specifically meant to constantly remind me why God created me. I am here to humbly be used to inspire and bless other people. Nobody is better or worse than I am, no matter the social status, the wealth, and other pertinent factors.

To begin this new trek, allow me to bring readers 'up to speed,' so to speak. Through this link, one can find a download, which is a general letter I wrote.

[NOTE: Within the link, it would be prudent to click the smaller download button toward the button of the page.]

Most readers of this initial post at the time of its publication are friends and acquaintances that shared a connection with me through that ever-popular social networking medium known as Facebook. Some among those very readers may recall that I once made a serious effort to cut myself free from the deceptively aggressive ties of that same virtual reality by creating three separate blogs, each with its own distinct purpose. That previous attempt to divorce myself from Facebook ultimately failed because I was not motivated to constantly update one of the blogs, let alone all three. Well, after a period of praying to the Lord for guidance, I have come to believe that this next attempt to declare my independence from Facebook should be undertaken and shall be a success. This time, I am certainly driven to begin this healthy compromise between being absorbed by Facebook and not having a virtual life whatsoever. Also, I believe that my spiritual life is much healthier than it was during my last shot to break from Facebook. Finally, that this freshest attempt to cast myself from Facebook is one that is realistically manageable (trying with one rather than three separate blogs), given my generally-hectic life. It is my hope and prayer that this group of readers understand my position and are willing and excited to see out the duration of this particular blog, however long that lifespan may be. It is my expectation that given my previous attempt to break from Facebook, at least a handful of my readers are not certain whether following this blog is worth their time. Well, in response to such a plausible assertion, I offer this: Should I fail to update this blog according to the rate of posting I shall soon give, then those readers are free to cease following this blog. All I ask my readers, pertinently those that are routed here from my expiring Facebook account, is a fair and second chance with this newest attempt to blog the significant highlights of my insignificant life.

Now, regarding the expectation of updates, my readers should look out for a new post at least once a week. I'm convinced that given my previous shot at blogging, I ought to set a time that is not too frequent, yet not too infrequent. That time should be one that is apt to cover what few highlights I may have over a certain period of time. A week seems right to me. That weekly post shall likely be published during a given Sunday afternoon or evening, but please do not hold me accountable to that time.

A fresh start, one could argue, is a suitable avenue through which a wonderful influx of inspiration can ensue. This 'brave new world,' this new blog ought to ensure such inspiration of words. Also, perhaps this blog can serve as a means to offer hope to someone God believes needs it. When I type such words, I mean not to think myself as above God. Perish the thought! Rather, I mean that I harken back to my Christian belief that God created a given human being to be used by Him (provided that human being chooses to allow God to use him) to bless other people. Although I am a wretch and a sinner (cf. I John 1.8), thanks to my choice to serve the Lord Christ Jesus, I understand that I have chosen to be used by Him to humbly bless others and inspire others to be like Him. After all, for those that believe as I do, there is this verse: "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5.48). For those friends and acquaintances of mine that do not share my beliefs in Jesus Christ, then I ask that you still respectfully acknowledge my Christianity, and that you still decide to enjoy this adventure of a blog anyway....


Right, then. My dear friends, St. Bréanainn and myself are loading up his leather boat with fruits and nuts for the seven-year journey across the open seas. We trust that God shall guide us to where He wants us to sail to. A few of the Gaelic brothers are a tad squeamish at the thought of undertaking such an arduous journey. Are you as well? The boat is about to be cast off from these Celtic shores.... are you ready to join us, wherever the wind may take us?

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