I was minding my business, being an annoying man-child, when all of a sudden, my wife said something that turned me into an:
(no, not Zach Braff… just an annoying whiny man-child).
She simply suggested that I wasn’t using my gifts in the best way. My wife is more than gracious, as she seems to think that I have a gift with the written word. Moreover, she was referring to this platform… my humble blog. Her basic point was that, as a Christian, if I have the opportunity to write, I should spend a lot less time bloviating (my word, not hers) about politics and more time discussing Kingdom things.
In response, I said –
But, but, but… nuh-uhhh. You just don’t get it. I don’t write about politics very often anymore. I mostly write about Conservatism. I said this with the self-assured conviction of someone who thinks they just won an argument and attempted a facial expression which screamed, So There.
I went on… You see, my understanding of Conservatism presupposes (yes, I actually said ‘presupposes’… out loud) Christianity and a Christian worldview. Gently smiling, my wife insisted, yes… But you still aren’t talking about Kingdom things.
But… but… but… “I don’t wanna”, shouted my insides.
Took me a while to understand that ‘insides’ was just a convenient euphemism for my Flesh.
Earlier that same day, my pastor had mentioned in a comment that we should all guard against letting ideologies (and specifically Conservatism) become idols. So, the Holy Spirit had come at me with a slobber-knocking one-two punch combo.
The grace of God blessed me with a wise and patient wife (and an insightful pastor). The intimate knowledge God has of how I think meant that He knew that I sometimes need to be bludgeoned over the head a bit before I ‘get it’.
All this is to say that I am going to try to temper my postings even more. Perhaps it hasn’t been noticeable, but several weeks ago I was convicted (again through a comment from my too-wise wife) to be more Christ-like in my writings. I had fallen into snarky Facebook status updates as well as generally nasty longer writings here. So, I have tried to lose the snark and unnecessary edge.
At the end of the day, that is not enough.
If I claim to be a Christian, and if I enjoy writing, then why don’t I write more about the Christian walk? Why have I let Conservatism become my idol? Why write, almost exclusively, about politics? My excuse to my wife yesterday for not writing more Kingdom-centered things was that I am not a theologian, philosopher, or teacher. But neither am I a historian, political analyst, or Conservative intellectual… and I have no trouble pretending to wear those hats.
The painful Truth is simply that I don’t feel comfortable talking about Christian living. That is a direct reflection of the failure of my walk. The old adage is “write what you know”. How ashamed I am to admit that I don’t ‘know’ Christ enough to feel comfortable writing about and for Him.
So, it is time for me to stop acting like a baby and “Christian-up”.
I will continue to blather occasionally about Conservatism because to me, Conservatism is where Christianity meets living in this world. But, I must be careful to keep the understanding that we are not ‘of’ this world. There is such a fine line between the pragmatic choices we must make (within a Christian worldview) to live here and making those choices/ practical ideologies into Idols. I cross that line every day.
But, here at the beach, with it’s abundance nearby, I have used the sand to draw a figurative line. The obtuseness of the preceding sentence notwithstanding, I would like to start living (and specifically, writing) in a new direction.
As I begin the next leg of my Christian journey it is my intention to chronicle both my stray thoughts as well as things I am sure God is teaching me. The result will probably be messy… but ultimately honest and, well, human.
I will certainly not promise any great insights or theological depth. But, I have a sneaky suspicion that if I truly open myself to listen to Him, He will use me to speak to whoever needs to hear. And that is my last editorial caveat here before jumping into this new adventure: if there is anything I write here that is uplifting, good, truthful, or beautiful, understand that it has come from God working through me. If there is anything divisive, snarky, or inflammatory, it has come from my Flesh… my human nature peeking through in moments of weakness and failure.
My heartfelt prayer is that whatever I write will be what you need to read.
Here’s to the Great Adventure!!