I took a year off from this blog without setting out to do so.
In fact, outside of a few book reviews and a handful of contributions for Gospel-Centered Discipleship, the bulk of my writing came in many other forms. Sermons, curriculums, e-mails, papers, letters, texts, journals, tweets. They are each their own sort of writing, but writing nonetheless, as they all live by the reality of words.
But for whatever reason, I grew disenchanted with the blogosphere and my own place in it. I still have not been able to put my finger on what it is exactly. Perhaps I felt I was only adding reverberations to the already-crowded echo chamber of evangelical blogging. It could be that I felt the return on investment was disappointing. I’m sure having our first child and my workload increasing on two separate occasions this year did not help. There are plenty of other suspects: Poor Time Management, Lack Of Drive, Many Good Books, Writing Paralysis By Indecision. Maybe it’s some shade of all of them.
Will I return to writing here? I hope so. If I were a few years younger, I would promise that I was, and unfold my game plan. But I have done enough of that to realize that my chase of good ideas often gets off the beaten path, or gets stopped in its tracks only to turn around and head back home with sunken shoulders.
What I think I need (and what I have apparently been missing for a while) is a firm grasp of what this space needs to be – for myself, and for anyone who drops in. What do I want to do here exactly? I think I figured it out, in the most ironic of books:
“The Preacher sought to find words of delight, and uprightly he wrote words of truth.” (Ecc 12:10)
This is what you will (hopefully) find here from now on: words of delight, and words of truth. This can be a place where the words of others and my own words can coexist. Words that promote beauty and truth and goodness in a world starving for it. Words that are okay with quality over quantity, that are written or shared not for the sake of saying something, but because it is worth saying. Part of me feels like blowing it all up and starting from scratch. But maybe I don’t need a new blog. Maybe I just need to indent and begin a new paragraph with where I want to go.
I have a feeling that the posts will vary in frequency and length and topic. This goes against most blog-building protocol. Let me be clear: this is not a construction project. I know who I am on the basis that 7.6 billion living people could not verify that I ever existed. My “two hands full of toil” approach to creating a platform has always, by the grace of God, been exposed as a striving after wind. So, this may not be efficient. It might be inconsistent. Dare I say, it might get quiet and boring around here for a while.
As another blogger recently put it, I am not stepping up to this plate to hit home runs with every at-bat; I am after the kind of contentment that comes from hitting singles, or the occasional double. Whatever gets me on base. I do hope to write more. I hope to write better. I do not want to add to the noise, but I do want to make a joyful one to the LORD with my words. Even if it does not get retweeted.
In years past, it was easy for me to fall into the trap of writing in a way that I hoped would catch the attention of others I respected. I clicked WordPress’ seductive “Stats” page too often. I longed to be noticed. I sought the approval of man, and was not satisfied with the approval of God. “Surely this also is vanity and a striving after wind.”
I have not arrived yet, but I’m learning to walk towards something else…Someone else. Audience will come and go. Metrics are so transient. My words will pass away. His won’t (Mk 13:31). I want to write in a way that leaves myself and the reader not impressed with me, but impressed with Jesus. All that to say, things will look different around here, and I hope for the better. I will absolutely work on my craft, and won’t neglect my calling, but will do these for the right reason:
“He has done gloriously;
let this be made known in all the earth.” (Isa 12:5)