Back to the Beginning (1)

It has been some time since I posted last. I am supposed to be posting a short piece every week. Further, I am to be writing one longer piece every month. I haven’t lived up to either commitment yet. I haven’t come close.

I’ve pondered the reasons why it is so difficult to write out my thoughts once per week. If you were to ask my friends, it wouldn’t be because I lack opinions on any and all things.

There are the obvious reasons—two jobs, four children, micro-managing my Australian overlords, etc. But what is at the center of many of the other reasons is my sheer fear of man, and the opposite side of the same proverbial coin, people pleasing.

Some of the reasons are straightforward. For example, I am not sure if I want to put myself in harm’s way in the blogosphere, even just the four people who might read my posts.  Kevin DeYoung is a respected pastor and blogger over at The Gospel Coalition website. Usually, his posts are received with thankfulness and applause. The other day though he got lambasted by his readers when posting about politics. The many comments that shot him down were doing so because he wasn’t “staying within his field of expertise”. I actually wonder if I have any field I can write on. Thankfully, the readers here at The Briefing site are much more charitable and helpful.

It is the other side of that coin that gets me more. Being a fairly avid reader of current books on theology and the bible, as well as following some of the more well-known blogs, I confess that I often ask myself “What could I add?” and then move on to other tasks. I am not terribly insightful. The best I have to offer other people is what I read and hear from, well, other people.

Even with those sobering judgments, I still often set out to impress and wow people when I set out to blog on theology and Christian thinking. This came to light again as I set out to prepare some sermons for the summer and prepare for an upcoming Simeon Trust workshop. In both opportunities, I have been asked to prepare passages from 1 Samuel. And in both cases, I am—conscientiously or unconscientiously—trying to make sure I say something really smart and novel (and at least one humorous thing). Those are not helpful motives; nor are they often obtainable without some “give” on the message.

So, I’ll write something here that is not unique or breathtakingly amazing. I’ll write what you already know. I am a son of Adam in my fear of man (or woman) rather than God. Or, as the excellent book states, I am acting on life as though man is big and God is small.

I realize this doesn’t give me (or anyone) a good reason to blog or write mediocre posts about boring topics. Still, given that I’ve been asked to blog, I should go about it in a Christian manner. What does that mean? My motives should be to exhort, to proclaim, to stir up by way of reminder, to observe, to seek guidance. In other words, in doing what I am supposed to do for and with my brothers and sisters in Christ, I should seek to be faithful to the Lord. Not to be clever or to get re-posted by Justin Taylor (though, that would be cool!), but to be helpful, even if it is only for one reader who never posts a response.

Our mantra at the Trellis and Vine workshops is “do a deep work in the lives of a few and let God multiply the results”. Perhaps by getting back to regularly thinking of what will be helpful for others, God does a deeper work in me.