I have been gone for a week. I work on vacations. Work is what I do. I work to relax. But I also rested more than usual without working. I let emails slip by. I re-engaged Twitter by turning off notifications from people I don’t follow, which makes the whole thing more pleasant. But I also had a few moments of reflection.
One of those moments came from Margaret Sullivan’s piece in the Washington Post about me. I probably shouldn’t have called her back. It was an interesting moment thought. She read my New York Times piece on building community and clearly feels I am not living up to how she interpreted the piece. But it has a lot to do with how she sees the gun control issue. She focused on my retweet on a RedState story that had gotten things wrong. I deleted the tweet and sent out the correction, but it seemed a great sin to her — more so even than that the writer got it wrong. The writer also corrected her piece and she apologized for getting it wrong. Sullivan used that tweet, it’s deletion and correction, and my calling David Hogg a bully to write about Hogg and me. What was so amazing about it all was that Margaret stewed over my actions and ignored the litany of hateful things David Hogg had said, including calling those with whom he disagrees “pathetic f*ckers” and claiming they want to kill kids and claiming they have blood on their faces, not just their hands.
This sort of reinforces the point of my New York Times column that community happens locally and face to face. It’s easy for Margaret to vilify a me she doesn’t really know for not meeting her expectations and to lionize a guy she also does not really know, but who she agrees with on gun control, who wants to pontificate on major public policy then hide behind “I’m just a kid” when anyone stands up to him. Of course, it all got overshadowed by Laura Ingraham.
Community is not going to happen on the internet in real ways and even media columnists have real biases that shape their thinking and their depiction of protagonists and antagonists. When they interpret tweets and deleted tweets into columns, their outcomes are going to be foreordained by the biases they are shoehorning events into.
Another of those moments came with the news of Ben Shapiro taking his podcast to radio. I have long thought Ben needed to be back on radio and not just a podcast. Podcasts are for people who do not do good radio. Ben does great radio. So it is exciting to have him back. But it also makes me want more for myself. I have a great show on a great station at a great time of day. But I really want a three hour nationally syndicated show and despite expectations and suggestions, that is not happening right now. It is a source of frustration. It is a source of impatience. Standing on the beach feeling the sand pull out from under my toes was a little like feeling life slipping away. I guess everyone gets into their forties and wonders what might have been and what might be still to come. And then it dawned on me that contentment is one of those things maybe we should all appreciate more.
The reality is I feel like I have regressed a bit. This site is growing, but not where I’d like it to be. I went from paying jobs on the internet, radio, and television to just a paying radio job with this site as, frankly, a money suck (though, to be fair, less and less a drain each day). I have done more television in the past two months than in the last year at Fox, though now not paid. And I am ready for more. Perhaps that is all too confessional, but it is to make a point.
I am, whether I want to believe it or not, exactly where God wants me. And so are you. That’s not to say we cannot have ambitions. It is not to say I cannot want more. But it is to say that God has a plan for each of us. And sometimes we get into the rote and mundane. We see amazing things happening to other people. And we ponder our lives and wonder where we are headed or if we are staying put. Sometimes we stay put. Sometimes we regress. Sometimes we head forward. But I more and more appreciate that it is all part of God’s plan and we can either get frustrated or learn lessons and find contentment. One day I want my cooking show. But maybe I’ll never get it. What I will get, however, is a chance to see God’s work in my life if I’m just willing to be still and let him show me. The same goes for you.
You may be staring at your computer, ready for a new job. You may be changing the millionth diaper longing to be in an office instead. You may hear the amazing stories of the accomplished kid and wonder why you squandered your life. But the reality is that God is in the mundane and the rote and we should figure out both how to glorify him there in that mundane task and also seek him out there because he knows we are there and he is there waiting for you to seek him out.
I work on vacations. But this year I really did try to slow down and work at letting God be God, pilot not co-pilot, and in so doing appreciate where I am, but also where I am not. And both are real blessings. Who knows what the future holds.