It seems that everyone and their mother has a blog. Whether or not it is a fad remains to be seen, though it has encouraged and challenged many people to express themselves and their views in ways they had previously never imagined. This is both a blessing and a curse. Everyone now demands the right to be heard and everyone is convinced that their opinion is the right one. And in the midst of this, I blog. I don’t update nearly as much as I used to and there are many reasons for that, none of which is the point of this post.
What’s interesting is that, as I blog less and less, I’ve actually found myself thinking about blogging more and more. Part of the reason I blog is to cultivate the personal discipline and habit of filtering all of life through the Gospel. This has never been a pulpit for my personal rants, I don’t share a ton of personal information here, I don’t even link my blog from the website of the church I pastor. Instead, it has always been about the intersection of theology and culture, trying to help people, including myself, understand that the Gospel has something to say about every aspect of life. This blog has been some of my steps in the journey of that exploration.
But it’s not always easy. Creative people often speak about the coming and going of “the muse,” that creative spark that sometimes comes in floods and others in dribbles. I’ve come to recognize that this blog is dependent on something similar, something I’ve come to think of as the “blog instinct.” It’s difficult to describe, perhaps a bit like dancing about architecture, but let me give it a shot.
In order to accomplish the mission of this blog, the writer (myself and sometimes my good friend Adam) must be immersed in the Word and swimming in culture continually seeing the relationship between both. It is coming across a cultural artifact and naturally, instinctively seeing the implications. When Adam posted his piece the other day “Who’s To Blame for Homosexual Stereotypes: Gays, the Military, and Unfriendly Fire,” my first thought was that he had a great “blog instinct.” He heard a piece on NPR (I wish I had kept track of how many pieces I’ve written either directly or indirectly about NPR pieces) and his mind began to flesh out some of the implications. Sometimes the blog piece is more gospel centered than others, but the point is always to help us think about what’s going on around us.
Too many of us (including myself) simply float through life unconsciously. We get in the car and end up at our destination and oftentimes, don’t even remember the journey to and fro. We get in the car and just space out and far too often, that’s exactly how we live our lives. We’re not present in the moment and we’re certainly not thinking critically about what’s happening around us. This is the “blog instinct,” seeing something and immediately turning it over and over in your mind’s eye, filtering it through the Gospel, coming out the other end with timeless truth in a timely manner.
We don’t always succeed at that here at Holiday at the Sea, but at least we’re trying. I love the dialogue, the interaction of the blogosphere, I love being exposed to and challenged by a wide swath of perspectives, but ultimately, I blog to continue to force myself to keep these instincts sharp. I often say that part of my job is a pastor is to raise up leaders behind me. In a sense, to work myself out of a job, and I often think of blogging in a similar manner. If this blog can help others to think critically about applying the Gospel to all of life, then maybe the day will come when it’s no longer necessary (please don’t read that as me thinking this blog is more important than it is). But until then, let’s all keep sharpening the blog instinct.