The ’25 Things’ note has been spreading on Facebook like a computer virus. Or one of those lame forwards from 1998 about Microsoft charging a fee for every e-mail sent. An estimated five million people have taken part, and it’s made some people more than a little annoyed and they show their determination not to take part in it by taking part in it (in mockery, of course).
I find the whole thing kind of funny.
Unlike an annoying e-mail forward, the notes in Facebook are much easier to ignore and they don’t gum up my inbox. Nobody is forcing you to read them. I can understand annoyance if people are harassing or threatening you to list your own ’25 Things,’ but that’s just stupid.
Who cares if people want to tell their friends 25 random things? It it narcissistic? Yeah, but blogging and twittering can be just as narcissistic. In many ways the general Facebook crowd is made up of relative web newbies who don’t have blogs or Twitter accounts. This is a new platform for them to talk about themselves. In that sense it’s like explaining to people what blogging is all over again and as always you get people who whine and complain.
Live and let live, people. I’ve completely ignored some ’25 Things’ lists and others I’ve read with curiosity and interest. Some were insightful, others were stupid. It’s just like anything else in life.
I’ve decided to deal with it (aside from blogging about it) by writing my own list of 25 Things—about Billy Graham. I think that’d be an awesome new trend. Let’s all write 25 things about someone else.
I don’t talk about it much publicly, but work has been slow lately. Terribly slow. Income dropped in 2008, for the first time since I started working on my own (though honestly, the drop wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be). And 2009 looks to be worse.
But against all that, I’m upbeat about it. Certainly I have my moments of doubt when things get kind of scary, but I also know that God provides. He’s done it before and I know he’ll do it again. I’m not sitting back and waiting for cash to fall from heaven, but part of my faith involves relying on God. In reality I’m always reliant on God, but it’s times like this when it becomes so much more obvious. In the mean time I’ll tighten my belt, perhaps wean myself from Cherry Pepsi, and struggle through.
Maybe I’m a bit naive, but I think times like this can be an opportunity. A time of unemployment launched me on this freelance journey in the first place. And while work has been slow I’ve been working on other projects, such as the Billy Graham blog, Start Seeing Art, and my 2006 novel Turn Left at the Blacktop, among others (By the way, I printed off a 158-page copy of the novel today so my wife could read it and give me her assessment).
I’m confident that hard times like this can refocus us, can present new opportunities, can be good for us. Sometimes, frankly, it does suck. But recession or economic depression are not the end of the world.
I finally did it: I started a Billy Graham blog. I’ve talked about this idea years ago, but I’m finally doing it.
It’s called Billyspot and it covers all things Billy Graham. It got started just before Christmas, so it’s definitely still in the infancy stage and has a long way to go. But for now the basics are there.
Why a Billy Graham Blog?
The big question, of course, is why write a blog exclusively about Billy Graham? There’s something engaging about Billy Graham that I find fascinating. He’s a world famous and highly respected evangelist. Consider the potential paradox of that statement for a moment: In a politically correct world he tells you that Jesus it the only way to salvation, and yet he’s still one of the most respected men in the world, a counselor to presidents.
It’s kind of amazing that a religious man can have that kind of near-universal acclaim. And I want to know how he does it. I want to know the behind-the-scenes stories. I want to know the theological questions that arise. I want to see the goofy things that inevitably come up around a man like that.
Hence, the Billyspot. I’ve talked a lot about Billy Graham in the past, I worked for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association for two years, and I have a pile of Billy-o-bilia to serve as fodder. Here we go.