If you write or blog, you know these gap moments. You have something to say, but by the time you get to it, the moment has passed. Then when you create the time and space to write, you hold back for one reason or another and never publish. Eventually you find yourself unsure of how to re-enter.
From a thought perspective, there’s much to write about. My half-complete drafts and journal entries would tell you all about it. This last stretch included an amazing Easter, a fantastic Q Conference, a couple of lectures with N.T. Wright at Gordon College and I attended a Gender Equity Reconciliation event that has impacted me as well as a few other things.
Further, I’m reflecting on all that’s relevant to me in the news as it relates to evangelicalism and post-evangelicalism, our societal and political climate, our race and gender divide, and how the message and Kingdom of Jesus informs all this for believers and how that message might be a blessing to the world at large. It can feel overwhelming really.
On a more personal note, the past few months have covered a wide gamut for me and my family. It’s been a full and rich and challenging stretch with celebration, frustration and the ordinary-ness that life brings. Dissatisfaction interrupted by fulfillment and fulfillment interrupted by dissatisfaction seems to be the true thing to say. Inadequacy undergirded with confidence and vice-versa. Faith despite doubt and doubt despite faith. Truly feel this, and more, is all part of the microcosm of a life that aims to be self-aware, honest and hopeful before God.
Our oldest turned 10 last month. And like we do, we went to a Yankees game to celebrate. Our second is loving second grade, being 8, reading Dogman, and playing baseball. Older daughter is dancing, settling in Kindergarten, and coming into her own. And the Baby is three and a half, full of personality, charm and mischief, and at that age when you just don’t know what they’ll say next. And my dear wife, Susan, walked for her Master’s in Education a few weeks ago. Just a summer class and student teaching to go and she will have completed her program and then pursue an ESL Teacher position.
These really are the days. We’re so grateful for the big-picture of all of this. For the health, for the celebrations, the hugs and cute kisses and tender moments.
But then there’s the everyday craziness. The hectic mornings, the fights, the ball in the house, the sewer line clogged and backing up into the basement, the missed email, ok, the missed emails ;), the check-engine light, the credit card bill, and all the follow-ups not followed up amongst other things.
Despite that, I’ve been trying to find 30 minutes to write/journal at the end of the day. Some days are better than others of course, but when it’s all working, the practices of reading, writing, praying, dreaming and creating feel fulfilling and bring a sense of peace and clarity in the mess of it all.
I continue to believe that things like joy and peace are experienced deeper when they are experienced on the other side of frustration and pain. Joy means more after suffering. I’ve long felt similar when it comes to faith and doubt. Faith means more having parsed it out against the tragedies and evil of the world. At the risk of creating a soap box, I think that’s a consistent theme in my preaching as I truly believe people would benefit from understanding this dynamic.
And as it relates to this blog’s theme of looking for nuance and perspective in the mist of the complication and confusion, well … the past couple of months have only confirmed the need for this more.
So at this point, I’m trying to get over the blogger’s block, commit to the writing the habit, moving drafts to published and a friend of mine is helping me with a TED style talk on nuance and gray areas.
As always, thanks for reading and hope to connect more with you soon.