The Grand Narrative
Permit me a moment for blogging about blogging. With yesterday's photo bonanza, I am now over the 2,000-post mark on this blog, in its seven and a half years of existence. Add in over 1,500 posts on my Huang Kid Khronicles blog in five years, and we're talking about almost 50 posts a month. That's a lot of dreck!
Clearly, I've taken to this whole blogging thing. I think it has to do with my INTJ-ness. For those of you not familiar with the Myers-Briggs Personality Test, that would be Introverted (vs. Extroverted), iNtuition (vs. Sensing), Thinking (vs. Feeling), and Judging (vs. Perceiving). Strangely, though I'm not extreme in any of the four axes, I do feel I'm an extreme INTJ: reading profiles of the typical INTJ, I find myself nodding vigorously in agreement.
One characteristic of INTJs that particularly resonates with me is that they tend to see life as a grand narrative, and so view interactions and experiences through that overall frame of reference. On a related note, INTJs can be very detached from pain - their own and that of others - as if temporal discomfort can be easily dismissed, subsumed in pursuit of the greater cause.
Whether I am hard-wired as an INTJ and have come to integrate my faith into that perspective, or whether my evolution as a believer has made me more of an INTJ, we'll let that be a musing for another day. (My preliminary conclusion is that it's a little of both.) How it relates to blogging is that it comes naturally to me to want to document - what I've experienced, what I'm thinking, what I want - because it fits with these deeper desires for my life to mean something and to be going somewhere, for it to make sense in the context of a greater narrative.
One of the helpful pieces of Myers-Briggs is not only understanding myself better, but realizing, accepting, and embracing the fact that how I think is not necessarily at all how others do. So others will approach their lives, their faith, their highs, and their lows differently than I do. But I do think there is something of a "word" for this generation in how I and other INTJ's perceive what it means to follow Jesus.
It is easy to get lost, in our material comforts and familial responsibilities, into a life trajectory that is nothing more than the maintenance of personal aims and temporary comforts. We work our jobs, we pay our bills, we have our vacations, we follow our sports teams, and we strive for the best for our kids and our communities. If we deviate from this, it is often to deviations that are not so productive (and, sadly, not so meaningful) - the sports car, the reckless hobby, the affair.
But what if there is more to this life than the slog of straight life or the fleeting excitement of side dalliances? What if there is in fact a grand narrative out there - and, profoundly, a Great Author and Perfecter - that is bigger than we are, but that we can tap into and make a contribution to? What if that larger story is worth subsuming the totality of our lives into, even at the sacrifice of comfort and status and time and energy? And what if, no matter bleak it looks and how daunting are the odds, the final outcome is known, and it is decisively victorious and gloriously wonderful?
To me, there is no "what if." Life is this grand narrative, no doubt about it. And the way I am wired, blogging is an act that resonates with me to live in that way, to remind myself of that truth, and to call others to join in. On any given day, my posts may or may not make for good reading. But the greater narrative they seek to tap into and help describe is definitely worth a look.