Tuesday, October 5, 2010


This blog post is, my apologies, lengthy. As an introductory entry, I wanted to share in-depth about myself before proceeding with shorter (and hopefully meatier) entries.

While the reasons would be inordinate and exorbitant to include here, it stands to reason that I started out early in life with a gratuitous amount of trust issues. Finding few places in life I could deem to be "a safe place," I allowed mistrust to shape my thinking. I am no established psychologist (yet, as my higher education continues), but I think it is safe to say that lack of trust naturally leads one to be suspicious. Suspicions then bred an inflated amount of questioning in my mind and heart of many things: leaders, institutions (both religious and non-religious), parents, and other social constructs I encountered within my everyday walk.

My questioning quickly led way to a critical spirit as I took it upon my highly-introspective self to compose new answers to old questions that so many before me had asked. Suddenly I had the right answer to everything and I was beyond understanding other people because they were not on the same page as me. This was The Age of Enlightenment in the life of Daniel Johnson, and I finally had arrived at all the answers others sought, but few had found. The biggest of many downsides to this way of thinking was the creeping onset of bitterness in my life. I enacted a mindset that inaugurated an expected rejection of others, which really masked an expected rejection from others which caused me to hide behind a wall of intellect and self-delusion. My identity, my very resolve was one birthed and nurtured in a negative mindset.

I was determined to get to Heaven on my own, without any help from any one, but mostly without any help from the Father. He had already done his part in the way of Christ's propitiation, so what did I further need from Him?

It would be lengthy to describe the paradigm shift I encountered in my way of thinking, but I can sum it up by saying that I spent 3 years experiencing the most crushing humility I've ever had to encounter. Through a series of debilitating persona decisions and subsequent trials, I came to face-to-face with the person I had questioned the least: myself. Determined not to carry out the rest of my days bitter and someone no one would want to be around, I began to ask the tough questions, to look at the ugly spots I had worked so well (and unhealthily) to cover up. In congruence with some in-depth counseling, I began to find my foothold once again.

Trust is a matter of choice, or should I say the willingness to do so. Once we set our minds to something (in this instance to trust again), it's only a matter of time before the feeling of trust follows, that is as long as that which we put our trust into proves itself trustworthy. I realized that I thought and talked entirely too much. I spent a lot of time sitting around, and I said a lot of things, but I didn't really have a lot to say. I began to enjoy, cherish, and cohere to the art of shutting up.

I could print a lot of Scripture references here, but the story of trust is in every page, every line of the Bible. Our story, His story, is all contingent upon a system of trust originated in faith. As I stopped listening to myself so much, I was able to start repelling the lies I told about myself to myself and began to absorb the truths about who I really am. So many people before me (Tony Fetchell, Ted Haggard, Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, etc.) have had their legs cut out from beneath them, and yet their stories of triumph and comeback are an inspiration to many, myself especially. When I stopped trusting in what man had to stay I stopped the self-inflicted abuse that held me to a system of guilt, a system which begets a character that scrapes by just enough to not get into trouble instead of flourishing and being beneficial in ministry to others.

So, now I find myself live and thriving in a ministry that does not just require my best (even if I don't always show up with it) at all times, but that gives me joy as it utilizes my existing skills and builds up the ones that require further honing. That, my friends, is Junior High youth ministry. Often overlooked and rarely mentioned, this stands to be a pivotal time in any person's life. Had I started to go a different way with my thought patterns as a 6th, 7th, or 8th grader, it is very likely that I would have stayed clear of the bitter path I chose to forge for a handful of years in my own life. 

Still, I look back on all that has transpired not as "a dark history" or "a sordid past," but rather a series of adventures and misadventures that I can share with young people in the hopes I can lead them to a realization of self in Christ that will stave off a defeated or an unhealthy mindset and view of oneself. And, so I give what little free time I have between the desk and the music to teach, to support, to love, in the hopes that I can just be an  example of Him.

I am Daniel Johnson, and these are my thoughts, my interests, my words, my story, my life, my journey, my blog -- my murmurs of the soul.


  1. With all due respects, the only thing that i can say right now is that was absolutely beautiful! I know exactly where youre at cause I lived it too. The second calling, i love to call it....... cisco

  2. So proud of you my friend. Welcome to the bloggosphere. You belong here.