Try not to freak out, but I have the disturbing feeling that I can read your mind right now—well… maybe not yours personally, but some of the minds of others who received an announcement about this site. They, of course, are noticeably less sophisticated than you, and maybe a tad more sarcastic than you would be, too. They’re thinking, “Well, thank God! We finally have another blog! We only had about 14 gazillion of them to pick from, and I don’t see how we could have managed to survive as a culture without the addition of this one. What a happy day! I’m canceling my therapy appointment and getting myself a donut—with sprinkles.”
Whether that describes your response or not, I’m glad you’re here—sorry if you’re missing out on the whole donut thing, though. Either way, in acknowledgment of your curiosity and in deference to the 14 gazillion other blog writers out there, the provision of a brief rationale for doing this would be appropriate.
I have trouble identifying myself as a writer, in spite of the fact that for most of my adult life, I have demonstrated almost no capacity not to engage in it. Though much of what I have written over the years has been presented in some kind of spoken format, the majority of it never saw a world any larger than a folder in my filing cabinet or a computer’s hard drive. I’m convinced at this point in my life that that was not God’s intention. Every day we see and hear things in almost every area of life in this culture that are blatantly “upside down and backwards” from His design and His purposes. Basic virtue and wisdom seem stripped of operational definitions almost everywhere we look these days—evil things are embraced as desirable and beneficial, and good is seen as threatening and detrimental. I am compelled to be another small voice in this chaotic mess attempting to help turn things right side up again—and I mean that quite literally, to endeavor to present “Right Side Up Thinking ~ In an Upside Down World,” which you may have noticed, has become the tagline for my writing.
OK, so if I had to tell you on your first visit how I see myself as a writer, I would tell you that I’m that brand new pair of jeans you buy that already has a hole in the knee. The unsophisticated may see you make such a purchase and conclude that you are merely an idiot. The more gauche among us would also fail to realize how comforting it is to have the flaws so readily visible. That way you don’t have to worry about getting them torn later, because even if you did, who would notice? But the main thing is that maybe it’s not so bad to have something that’s already old, even when it’s brand new – or maybe something brand new that looks like it’s been around a long time. In any case, I hope to offer you a similar sense of comfort when you meet me, or read my stuff – and I have taken steps to help with that. It is soon evident that even though I have written and taught in one format or another for over 40 years, I have managed to carefully avoid perfecting anything. That singular accomplishment has allowed me to deftly evade the distractions of fame and notoriety, while allowing you, my treasured readers, to side step any risk of upcoming disappointment from overblown expectations. For which, I humbly offer each of you a heartfelt, “You’re welcome.”
Along those lines, I also feel compelled to extend an important reminder. As you may have noticed already, there are a lot of ordinary people out there writing and speaking. Unfortunately, there are many who, in spite of the volume of evidence available, seem to be totally unaware of their ‘ordinariness’, and thus fail to acknowledge it. That places an unfair burden on their readers, who are then left to discover it on their own. Obvious questions arise among them, like, “Did he or she not already know they were ordinary, and if so, why did they not tell us up front? We could have lowered our expectations appropriately and been spared all of this disappointment.”
Well, I vow never to subject my readers to such things. In contrast to their insensitive reluctance toward transparency, I will quickly step up to acknowledge an achievement of ordinariness at a superlative level. More than that, I will tell you without hesitation that being ordinary did not come as easy for me as it seems to for some. It took years of practice, and I had to screw up a lot of stuff to get where I am. But, I will be just as quick to tell you that Jesus does, indeed, love ordinary people, and especially, I think, those who are as good at it as I am.
So, thank you for visiting my blog. If you find it worth a few minutes once in a while, please subscribe to follow, and then share the link with someone else. Who knows? There may be someone out there that you might reach who has already gone through the other 14 gazillion blog offerings and is currently languishing in despair that there is nothing else on the horizon. After all, under Obamacare, no one needs to be faced with the co-pay for an anti-depressant if we can help them avoid it.
Ronald L. Gallagher, Ed.S
“Right Side Up Thinking ~ In an Upside Down World”