It seems to be a popular thing to do, in the Genre that is The Christian Blog, to examine the 'what have I learned from this?' question.
In order to keep up with the Jones' on this, and because I can think of nothing better to write about, I will attend to this - then it can be claimed to be done and I needn't bother you again with it. Of course, I needn't bother - but with the love in my heart, I feel that I should just keep on giving. So, all about Mimi.
The funny thing about Blogging is that it creates certain behaviours. It moderates mindsets, and it becomes a very real lens through which the world can be viewed. So, a list should be formed:
1. I read back and realise that I am several very distinct people. I can grumble on one day, wax lyrical the next, ping the heart strings another day and maybe even get you thinking from time to time. However, the incontrovertable fact is WYSIWYG. I can't be false in this, because it would be conspicuous. This is as much a revelation to me as anyone because I thought myself to be fairly straightforward - clearly not. However, you now know that I am human, flawed, aware of the flaws, but comfortable with who I am.
2. I have developed a Blogger's Mentality - put another way, I see things in terms of 'posts'. This is not an unhelpful thing as I treat this Blog as a rolling theological reflection. Be it me, my children, external events or just minor irritations, each is placed here in the context of the life I lead. I write as a Christian, bloke or not. My posts are often the outward sign of my inner prayers. Blogging makes me look just a little closer. It makes me interpret and it makes me commit to a view - none of which are bad things for a baby cleric.
3. It is no less an artform that dawbing acrylics on a canvas. I enjoy the end result as much as those of you who claim to read it enjoy it. I look back, and without unneccesary narcissism, enjoy my own writing. I like how I write and I love using words artfully. The title is intended to grab you, the picture to make you curious and the style to engage you. I didn't ever set out with this in my mind, but it does seem to be the case.
4. This thing is, without a shadow of a doubt, the clearest mirror in my house. I look back at times and realise how I was feeling when in fact I didn't know it at the time. I sometimes have to read to realise - it is likely clearer to you than to me.
5. Blogging is pock-marked with the mine craters of danger. This could become a soap-box. It could become a picture-frame in which only polished works are placed. The reason why I do this openly with my name and identity disclosed is that I percieve that blogging is a free seat at a debate - and my name means I have paid to get in. Anonymity is not helpful in my opinion as integrity is lost in a person's desire to hide. Another danger is the hitherto undiscovered factor: the future reader. Yes, I write freely and honestly, but neither am I stupid. There will be a time when I seek a new job, and this is a rather significant addition to my Application Form.
6. Humility is the only vehicle to make a Blog work in the Christian context. When I write, the subtext is always 'but I may well be wrong'. Fingerpointing, rhetoric laden, 'I know best-ism' just doesn't cut it here. When I learned that someone in Russia reads this, I was quickly reminded that humility is the one mindset that travels best!
7. Humour is good, mostly. I have read serious-only blogs (none of my friends count among this number) and oh my word, they are like rubbing my bum on sandpaper - pointless and painful, and a strange way to spend my time. Humour as a constant is equally annoying, however. No-one likes a pratt, let alone an ever-grinning one!
8. The Code of Conduct for Bloggers in Cottas demands only one post such as this - so rejoice dear Reader. It is done.
Here endeth the lesson.