Friday, November 19, 2010

The journey continues

I realized last Saturday that I missed my blog anniversary. And I'm just now writing about it! Amazing.

I started Nov. 5, 2009. My goals were pretty meager.
-- Post at least one thing each week.
-- Feel free to go back in and edit.
-- See where it leads.
-- Give the glory to God.

The good news is that I can say I've achieved them. The bad news is that the goals were pretty meager, so I'm not sure I accomplished much.

It's been much more me-focused than I had hoped. I would like to be writing more descriptive narrative expressing appreciation for things I see outside myself, rather than so much about what's going on in my own life and mind. But maybe that's like wishing I could sing with a more resonant voice, or wishing I could swim and dive. I've made attempts to learn those things, and what I was being taught just didn't seem to work for me. It's like trying to write right-handed. Some people can do it well, myself included, others not so much. Maybe my distinct writing voice, like my singing voice, is destined to be fairly simple. To the casual observer, it probably seems immature and undeveloped. And maybe that's OK. Simple things deserve appreciation, too, perhaps.

One of my recent spiritual lessons has included a look at why some churches are good at raising money and doing whatever it takes to accomplish great things, while it seems as if the ones I am most closely connected to struggle even to meet operating expenses and adequately pay the pastor and staff. Yes, we get a lot done in ministry and fellowship and caring for people within and outside the congregation, but when it comes to doing GREAT things for God, it seems I'm not the only one who's holding back mightily. A thought I had about this during last Sunday's sermon (drawn from verses in Nehemiah 6) was that maybe I'd get lost in one of those churches filled with supergenerous saints. Maybe God also needs the witness of churches filled with people who struggle to respond to His call. And maybe I need the struggle to stay real.

I was pondering some of this as I drove to work one day this week, and I had to ask myself (again): Who am I to say this isn't exactly how God wants me to be? As I told a friend, the way I am seems pretty lame to me, but God keeps finding ways to use me. But how do I know for sure whether this is God's perfect will for me, or whether He's just continuing to work all things, even my failure to achieve my best for Him, to His greater good. (Did I say I have a simple voice? Maybe I should have said simplistic -- underdeveloped and confused. Fortunately, it's also a probing voice that keeps seeking to know more.)

So, I'll keep on keeping on, with the blog and with life and with seeking to know and do God's will. Sometimes an anniversary or birthday or new year prompts me to set new goals. I think I'll just keep the ones I have for the blog. But I am praying to become willing to be willing to set some goals for specific aspects of my life, especially regarding specific uses of time and money where I know my excesses don't really hurt anyone, and maybe not even me, but I also know that adjustments would surely enrich my life and my ability to help others.

As I wrote in the first blog post: The urge to write never leaves. ... When I joined FaceBook recently to help stay in touch with family members, something about the power of written expression was rekindled within me. Framing thoughts into phrases or sentences and then posting them -- publishing them -- invigorated me. And when FaceBook friends commented .... wow! I've had to ask myself: Is this a blessing or a curse? I've asked the question prayerfully, and so far, the answer is that it's a blessing. And so I've started what is a new adventure for me. It's possible nothing will show up on this blog that will be of interest to anyone other than the writer. But it's also possible something will emerge that is worth the time and thought of a reader. I look forward to finding out.

The journey continues!

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