“Sometimes the lights all shinin’ on me;
Other times I can barely see.
Lately it occurs to me what a long strange trip its been.” – Truckin, The Greatful Dead
“You are who you are when nobody’s looking.” – some unknown wise person
Do you have any idea how hard it is to write an ABOUT ME section without sounding like a schmuck?
Its easy to sound like I’m trying to be my own agent and sell myself: ”Ive done such and such and been so and so and I’m agonizingly cool.” Another alternative is the My Life version, where I share how my life was set on its present course by the 4-H Speech contest in 4th grade. And yet another extreme is the Spiritual Spin version, where I make it seem that my every waking moment is radiantly faith-infused. I’d be especially careful to use the phrases “A Saving Knowledge Of Jesus Christ” and “Personal Lord And Savior” (with bonus points if I can work in “Hedge of Protection”, my personal favorite).
Or maybe just the facts.
I’m married to Jana. She is wiser and kinder and better than I am. On my good days, I desperately want to be a good husband for her, the one I feel God leading me to be. On my bad days, she is more patient than I understand.
I have 5 kids. Shining stars of laughter, chaos, and drama. They are unspeakably beautiful. Their miraculous growth through phase after phase of childhood is my chief joy and greatest panic. I am woefully unprepared to raise them. However – either through grace or as a result of them not knowing any better – they love me with a purity to which I can only aspire.
My family is a perfect illustration of two themes that shape my life, two sides of a coin. First – I am unfairly and extravagantly blessed. Those who know my family know this to be true. Second – I am not yet the man I want to ultimately become. Those who know me are painfully aware of this as well. Both of these truths stand as a constant, insistent invitation from the one who made me, luring me with both his generosity and my own need.
I’m a director. I work at a ministry called City on a Hill Productions. I work with a team of talented, passionate, insane people – any of whom could make far more money working someplace else. Together, we create films that try to make sense of faith in a world where faith often seems to make no sense at all. Its my job, but quite honestly, I’d do it for free. Its a calling, a task that was designed for me by the one who made me.
Again, the coin. Blessing. I get to make movies. I get to imagine and film and edit and create. I get to work with maddening geniuses who are every bit as called to this crazy mission as I am. And I get a paycheck doing things that matter, things that quite literally (and frequently) change lives. Blessing, unfair and extravagant. And need. In what way am i qualified to do this? I can’t lead my team the way they need and deserve to be led. Just ask them, they’ll tell ya. And as for directing – I’ve never even been on a set that wasn’t mine. I’m a theater nerd who’s way out of his league. Need, obvious and desperate.
So that’s ABOUT ME. Looking back at what I’ve written, I see now I could have tackled the whole affair in a much more straightforward manner. Something along the lines of:
Shane serves as the Director at City on a Hill Productions, creating resources designed to reveal the relevancy of faith in contemporary culture. He and his wife, Jana, are blessed with five children… and two Jack Russel terriers.
Yeah, I could have said that. But when I think ABOUT ME, I think about the coin. Blessing and need. That’s the core of who I am. Blessed beyond all reason and logic, and in need of more help than anyone on earth can provide to become the man I know I’m called to be. And I’m convinced that I have to hold on to those truths, keep them close, wear them on my sleeve. I need to cling to this coin as if my life depended on it. Because it does. His blessing woos me. My need compels me.