". . . self-discovery and introspection are not frivolous diversions. You cannot live responsibly without knowing what your weaknesses are, what you hunger for, what you will lie about if given the chance."

That pearl of wisdom is from Cary Tennis of Salon.com, to "screwup," a married man with two kids and a girlfriend in Italy. .

Tennis also tells “screwup” to break off the relationship with the Italian girlfriend, and to grow up

Your life doesn't have to fall apart. But you do need to figure out what the hell is going on with you. Maybe you do have narcissistic personality disorder. Or maybe you just have bad case of self-involved cluelessness. In either case, eventually you tell your wife. But first, you need a crash course in what's up with you. You visit a psychotherapist or psychiatrist and you embark on a course of self-discovery.

You need to learn the names of your hungers. It is not enough to look at what you did and say, Gee, that was bad. You must ask, What was I hungering for? And what am I hungering for still? What forces were operating on me? In the hands of what desire was I a willing puppet?

Good advice.

What do I hunger for? What would I lie for?

  • A bestseller?
  • To become an uber blogger?
  • A night with the Italian girlfriend?

I hope none of these things. But they’re all tempting. I don't think I'd lie for them.

But I know what fears stand behind all of those temptations. The fear of being ordinary, unimportant, unremarkable, unknown, and remaining that way for the rest of my life. The fear of reaching the end of my life and finding I've squandered it.

These are the things that a 40-year-old features editor with a mortgage fears.

Mercifully, instead of a girlfriend in Italy, I've got a wife and three adoring children to get home to. And a book to write. So there's no time for fear or for lies.

Thank God for the miracles and wonders which abound in my life.

Besides, I know what I’m really hungering for.




Scot McKnight has posted a press release for a new report on Evangelicals and politics that features Ted Haggard, Ted Haggard, and more Ted Haggard.

Glad to see Brokaw and NBC are doing top notch, ground breaking reporting for this story, instead of relying on the work on Ted Haggard's church done by Jeff Sharlet of the Revealer for Harpers magazine.

Oops. That would be my fantasy world.

Instead, we're going to get Chicken Little TV reporting: "The sky is falling and the Evangelicals are out to get us. And if they don't, the creationists will."

For the record, I'm not criticizing Jeff Sharlett's work. He's a conscientious reporter who sees nuance and balance in religion stories. Instead, it's these Johnny-come-lately husksters selling sensationalized content and pretending it's news.

We'd all be better if we'd follow the advice of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: "Don't Panic." Followed by the little heeded advice my Junior High principal gave me. Before smacking someone upside the head, try to walk in their shoes for a few miles and see the world from their point of view.


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