moving forward

It’s interesting how the words and counsel of others, particularly friends, can affect one. One such friend has given me advice more than once (unfortunately I fell short on at least the thought that I ought to pursue poetry -maybe someday, not that I haven’t tried my hand at it at all). But one of her thoughts I did take up was to share in my blog writing about myself, my own life, something I didn’t do at all before, or only brief if I ever did it. But now I do share, thanks to her advice, and I think it does reflect what we find in scripture. Truth is given to us in the midst of the lives we live, even through them. And certainly we find this sharing within scripture.

I’m not sure what the future holds as to my blogging. I tend to get into difficult subjects on a number of levels, one of the levels simply being controversy (although I only hit it here and there). There’s a large part of me that wants to shrink back and simply hide away from such, but then one comes into the real world, and the real world simply won’t let one do that. I have to say I don’t find the way many Christians respond to such matters helpful to anyone, and I certainly want to do better that way, myself. We don’t listen well, and we have the answer before the question is even done. I don’t think we comport well at all with the testimony of Jesus found in scripture. That being said, there is a time to speak out on these most difficult issues. And, by the way, simply following Jesus in his call is going to make no sense to the world, no common sense, and so we have to live with that, regardless.

One of the recurring themes that has come up to me time and again, and from which I would like to escape, but there is no escape, is the theme of weakness. I want to shore up my weaknesses and go on in strength. I don’t like the idea of living in and out of weakness. For the follower of Jesus, God’s grace is sufficient for and Christ’s strength is made perfect and known in our weakness. And so I have to be content not only to not have all the answers I would like to have, but to learn to live well in Christ in the midst of great weakness.

I also have felt rather untethered, a bit adrift, not having sufficient moorings. That is not entirely true since I and my wife are happy to be a part of our church. But I do have a sense of wanting to ask, “What’s next?” As if there is a missing part of the puzzle that I haven’t yet found.

I do think I want to move deeper into the kind of life in Jesus that has been shared, particularly coming to the forefront of my thinking through one of our pastors. More in the way of monastic retreats and working this into my normal, day to day life seems important for me now. I am also a word-oriented person, word here referring to scripture. I am oriented to and need to be in scripture regularly. I am glad to be a part of a church which cares for those in need, but I also want to become more oriented to helping those in need, particularly the poor and down and out. Right now we have a situation in our home, close to our heart, family, which we are happy to try to help and be a blessing in.

And so, too many thoughts here, but for now I plan to continue blogging. The habit is ingrained after years, and it would be a major change for me to stop. But I want to be open to what God has for me together with others in Jesus for the world.

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