Who am I? (good question)
I am a driver. I believe the way I drive affects who I am. And vice versa. I struggle with the tendency to go fast, to forget the journey in the race to the destination. I strive to practice what I call mindful driving. I believe that my pace on the outside affects my pace on the inside. And vice versa. I want to own a Prius. I’m looking forward to moving to the city where there is public transportation. I seek to drive less. I believe the internal combustion engine is stupid. I get some of my best writings, poems, and songs while I am driving. This blog reflects these inconsistencies and my attempts to be a slow mover.
I am an overachiever. No matter how much I do it is never enough. Slow moving helps me be more mindful of the wheels spinning within. Life goes by so fast, but I don’t have to. I hope to be reminded by writing here that if all I ever really do in life is learn to love and be loved than that is enough.
I am a Mennonite, in the Christian Anabaptist tradition. My faith informs my values. I believe in living simply so that others may simply live. I believe that the “regenerated do not go to war.” I believe that it is wrong to kill. Period. I am leery about cozying up too close to the state because Jesus was executed by an alliance of religious and political leaders. As were my ancestors. I believe that what I buy and how I shop brings life or death to my brothers and sisters in the world. I believe that all religions are to be honored and respected and that the walls that exist between us can only be breached through dialogue and understanding.
I am an American. I believe that our greatest export is compassion, not weapons and war. I believe that true security is found in friendship, not by making new enemies. I am first and foremost a citizen of the Kingdom of God which has no borders and calls no nation greater than another. Secondly, I am a citizen of the world. I do not believe that my blood is somehow more precious than the blood of any other person on the planet. I believe that to whom much is given much is required and that we as a nation are blessed solely to bless others. Being an American is my “third citizenship” and it is a mantle that I wear with some discomfort. But I believe that I must own my citizenship in order to take seriously the responsibility of being the change I wish to see in the world. I believe the right to vote is precious and I exercise that right even though I am in the small majority of Americans who do so. I believe that being silent is a vote for the powerful over the weak and so my words here are in part my shout.
I am a man. I am striving to be both gentle and strong, to treat women and other men with dignity and respect. I believe that men and women are different but equal partners in the creation of a new world. I believe that the world is in the sorry shape it is in due in large part to the violent beliefs and actions of men. I have a predisposition for the minority even though in many ways I am a member of the majority. I am married to a wonderful, beautiful, smart, strong woman whose love helps me face my fears. I am a hearth tender. I am a brother-keeper. I am striving to be more honest and transparent. This blog reflects those attempts.
I am double-minded. I want to love, but I am still filled with so much hate. I am a peace maker, but I am still filled with so much rage. I am a friend, but I am still filled with so much intolerance. I am joyful, but still taste the bitterness of my hurt. I am grateful, but I still love to complain. My name means courageous, but I am filled to overflowing with fear. I believe in grace, that I am a work-in-progress. I am divided, but I believe that life is the bridge. This blog is one part confessional, and also my acknowledgment of the joy of living with gratitude in grace.
I am a writer. Writing is prayer for me. I am deeply indebted to Ms. Robbins, my high school English teacher, who encouraged and affirmed my writing. And to everyone else who has done the same along the way. And to you, dear reader. Thank you for taking the time to stop by. I am grateful for your presence.
Blessings and Shalom,
Keith Lyndaker Schlabach