First, this: I don’t believe in “creative walls.”
You either do the work or you don’t.
But there are other walls, I guess, and I think I just hit them.
About 6 months ago I decided to post twice a week, no matter what. And up to last week, I managed—though sometimes just barely—to do it.
But last week, I couldn’t/didn’t push through. School started for my kids; summer semester wound down for me; work, life and ministry (or maybe it’s better described, “worklifeministry” pushed on.
But I’ve managed through this before. So why did I stop?
I think it’s because it began to feel successful…
I originally committed to posting so frequently because I sincerely wanted:
- to develop my writing/teaching voice
- to stretch myself with a goal
- to try and speak to people about this God I know, and this life that I’m trying to lead
I’ve received a ton of encouragement from everyone here; and I believe that I’m being called to keep writing, and keep speaking, and keep teaching.
…But what I have to confront is the idea that those things quickly become meaningless.
I’m constantly tempted to find fulfillment in everything around me, the things I can see, touch, taste. I feel like this is truly “Spirituality 101), but even at my age, I still do fall victim to it.
So when the statistics—site hits, twitter followers, “likes”, comments, etc.—start to go up, I keep expecting to feel better.
But I don’t.
Because I’m not supposed to.
Don’t get me wrong: these things are blessings. I want to keep writing. I want to speak to more people—go ahead, tell them!—and to help people wake up to the reality of God in their lives.
But those things don’t bring peace, don’t bring shalom at the end of the day.
That peace is only found in abiding deeply in the peace and love of God.
In sabbath and “family rest”.
In rich and satisfying worship.
In meals together with friends.
Ultimately, I’m so grateful for everyone’s encouragement; as I said, I’m going to keep writing and wrestling with stuff.
But moreso, I’m glad for a God that reminds me that there are more important things than this.
‘Everything is meaningless,’ says the Teacher, ‘completely meaningless.’
Keep this in mind: The Teacher was considered wise, and he taught the people everything he knew. He listened carefully to many proverbs, studying them and classifying them. The Teacher sought to find just the right words to express truths clearly.
The words of the wise are like cattle prods—painful but helpful. Their collected sayings are like nail-studded stick with which a shepherd drives the sheep.
But, my child, let me give you some further advice: Be careful, for writing books is endless, and much study wears you out.
That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God, and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad. -Ecclesiastes 12:8-14
FEEL FREE TO COMMENT. I’m ready.
10 thoughts on “Walls.”
Try this. Don’t check your stats. Just write. We need more voices and perspectives not yet. Something may have been said before, but it has not been said by you. You are the only person who holds your position among your friends. You are the only person who knows everyone you know.
It is you who are uniquely suited to be a light in your circles.
So just write. And keep writing, at least as long as you keep learning.
I know I like reading it.
I’m grateful for your honesty and for sharing your life the way you do. My wife and I just sent our little girl to kindergarden for the first time this week. Schedules are changing, the fall is coming… heck, depending on who I’m with the HOLIDAY season is upon us. Thank you for continuing to write – I’ll continue to read…. and eventually come up with a plan for how I want to blog. Thanks again for your response to me earlier this summer! 🙂
You’re welcome Ed — grace and peace
Sometimes it’s hard to find a balance. It’s easy to allow ourselves to slack in certain areas (e.g. reading the Bible) when we are solely focused on other equally important things (e.g. fellowship.) Maybe we all need to get Mark 12:30-31 tattooed on our foreheads.
Remember that what you don’t see may have been immeasureable impacts much greater than these “comments” “likes” “hits” etc.
thanks so much for that reminder… 🙂
Ecclesiastes and abiding. Let’s unpack this further on Friday.
you got it!
DocSingletary is right – ripple effect – impossible to see all the ripples of your ripples.