As I have been thinking over the last few months about starting a blog several questions keep coming to my mind: Why am I writing? Do I really have anything to say that hasn’t already been said by someone else? Do I have anything to say that is worth other people taking the time to read? As I asked myself these questions I was encouraged by a quote from C.S. Lewis, whom I have long regarded as a spiritual mentor: “Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.” As I have been asking myself why I wish to write I keep coming to the conclusion that I am motivated more by a desire to sort out my own thoughts and feelings and seek answers to my own questions rather than a belief that I have any sort of expertise to offer others; and that I hope that as I embark on this ‘quest’ of mine it may serve to encourage others who may be wrestling with similar questions and concerns.
While I have had in the back of my mind for many years the notion that ‘someday’ I would set down some of my thoughts in a book or some other written form, it is only recently that I have decided to seriously pursue this avenue. There have been two influences that have prompted me in this direction. The first being that after several years of pursuing a career in the field of education, I feel that God is steering me in a different direction, a direction that seems more in line with my true passions. Several years ago while teaching a class of teenagers at my church I came across this Frederick Buechner quote: “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” I have often reflected on those words in the subsequent years as I have attempted to find this meeting place, and do so in a way that allows me to make a viable living.
The second influence has been a growing awareness of how the increasingly divisive and fragmented social landscape that is present day America has affected the mindset of people close to me. Conversations with friends and family have revealed that the divide is much deeper and has affected those much closer than I suspected. As I discussed the various social and political issues with them, I found myself becoming aware in a more serious way of how huge a chasm of understanding exists between the various factions in society. These conversations motivated me to attempt to set down some of my thoughts in the hopes that they may, in some small way, help to build bridges over this chasm.
I am not certain what direction this blog will eventually take. There are a number of things I care about and may eventually write about. Right now as I write this (late November 2020) the aftermath of a contentious election that demonstrated the levels of mistrust, animosity, and division in America is weighing on my mind. Watching children try to navigate life in an increasingly broken and dysfunctional society with less and less adult guidance has been a source personal anguish for years. The diminishing influence of Christianity, both in practice and in theology, is something that strikes deep into the core of who I am as person. As someone who finds closeness with God most easily in those times spent alone in a park or on walk in the woods, the conflict between science and faith feels like being stuck in the middle of two friends having a years long feud who stubbornly refuse to make a serious effort to work things out. The myriad of issues and concerns related to these themes (and others) will likely make their way into this blog at some point in time. I imagine that those who share my conservative Evangelical background will be most likely to find value in my thoughts, though I hope that those of other backgrounds may benefit as well.