I received this little encouragement in my inbox this morning:
“You may not check this thing anymore, and I know you said not to “hold you to it” later, but I think it would be lovely if you kept up this site and your writing. Working on a computer all day in the marketplace, it’s helpful to read something of substance rather than another journal article which proves the impoverished state of our national health and then attempts to come up with a scheme of man to somehow make it better, when really all this country needs, Christian and non-believer alike, is the reality of the Savior.
So yeah, I like to come here to read a little bit of truth on my breaks, so if you feel so lead, keep up the writing.“
Well, every once in a while, I do check this thing. In fact, I think about it often - this little journal represents years of expressing my heart and reaching for God through writing in a way that is critically knit to how I am wired by my Creator. What I am never sure of is how to navigate that internal longing to write with the other areas and avenues that I’ve signed up for (some desired, some not). What touches my heart, however, is that many of you also “check this thing” and have encouraged me to write more. I so appreciate the kindness (and the hunger for God)! Honestly, I wasn’t sure anyone was poking there head in here because of my negligence.
Part of my challenge recently is how to navigate other writing that I need to be doing - and am struggling to stay on top of. I have overlooked and neglected other writing assignments that have real deadlines. I am sure that, however, part of my struggle with writing elsewhere is that I have simply gotten out of the habit of writing. That’s bad! Secondly, I have been working through other material in other contexts that don’t necessarily translate to what I have done in the past here. For example, this morning I am wrestling with how to teach and communicate the attributes of God to teenagers. How do I take the language of A.W. Tozer, Charnock, Pink, etc. accessible to a generation of young people that have largely disconnected from the importance of the infinitude of God?
A final aspect of writing I have had a difficult time with is the transition that our culture has made in communicating ideas. I am many things, but as of today I am not succinct. I was made for Tozer, not Twitter. Thus I found, for a while, that every time I wanted to venture into this place to write I found myself mostly thinking about writing about writing (as I am doing here, ironically). If the blog format was a challenge for me, how much more is the twitterfied world that has quickly outpaced the blog world a mystifying reality? There are two camps related to this kind of thing: the “pro-Twitter” world and the “anti-Twitter world”. I am on neither team. I appreciate the manner in which the twitter reality forces precision and presses writers to summarize and assimilate key ideas quickly. Twitter is a glorious place for preachers, and often writers are bugged by preachers in the same manner that they are bugged by Twitter.
The blog format was an early preview of what was to come in regards to internet communication. When I first started engaging in this format, in fact, the number one complaint I received was related to my writing style. I refused to post the short, quick, extemporaneous commentaries that populated the internet. I wasn’t writing to a format, I was simply expressing my heart while sharpening and pushing myself to write better. I’m still figuring it out. I know a few things: I’m not skilled enough to post the quick-hit articles and sentences that many can produce and I’m not interested in the personality driven asides that attract so many to blogs and creates so much twitter traffic. That so many of you have commented and wondered where my little musings have been encourages me to keep pressing for what I do, in the way that I do it.
So, as long as you don’t mind me writing when I can and as long as you don’t mind me practicing my craft on you, I’ll still pop in here every so often. Not to build a following - but to hone and sharpen a part of myself that needs the glorious repetition an ongoing journal provides. Thanks to Sarah for the sweet note. I checked.
17 comments October 13th, 2009