Why I Haven’t Written Anything in a While

Goodness, has it really been since April that I last posted? Sorry, fellow travelers! If I’d had better foresight, I would have made some kind of “taking summer off” announcement.

One reason for the absence is that, as frequently happens in the blog world, life has very much gotten in the way of writing for a few months now. I have been officially serving as a postulant (or candidate for ordination) within the Anglican Church, which has meant assuming extra responsibilities in our parish as well as taking evening classes off-and-on to prepare for vocational ministry.

It ain’t easy juggling a full-time job with part-time ministry training, seminary classes, and raising two small children. Being able to write regularly is, regrettably, a piece I have not been able to fit into the puzzle for a while, but I hope to change that as we approach autumn.

Not that the coming months will be any slower — quite the opposite, in fact. But giving myself permission to drop the writing for a bit has helped me focus more on studying, shoring up my knowledge base for this ministry and other teaching opportunities in the future. I’ve been doing my best to spend less time talking and more time listening and praying.

This has meant trying to focus less on social media discourse and more on engaging people directly, either face-to-face or with a phone call or text, which is much more beneficial in most instances.

It’s also meant spending time diving hard into opposing viewpoints before discussing them to find if there are nuances I may be missing. It’s funny how much you can diffuse a hostile conversation by requiring everyone to define their terms and assumptions first, then looking for overlap between two positions that at first glance seem diametrically opposed; and finally, asking lots of sincere questions and seeking to learn rather than prove a point.

And finally, it has involved spending a lot of time grounding myself in daily prayer. This is one of the greatest differences that being part of the Anglican tradition has made in my life recently. Using the Book of Common Prayer’s daily prayer offices has helped keep me centered. One part of common prayer I especially love is that it involves reciting the ancient creeds of the Church every single day, and that’s been a great way to keep before my mind’s eye the difference between things that are most essential and those that are disputable. As the old maxim goes, “In the essentials unity; in the nonessentials liberty; in all things charity.”

In an age of outrage, where everyone is quick to polarize and demonize anyone that challenges their viewpoint, it’s more crucial than ever that Christians learn to distinguish and prioritize what is essential, and communicate our message with grace, wisdom, and charity.

That doesn’t always rule out engaging in heated dialogue when necessary, but our aim should always be to help others see the truth of the gospel for the beautiful thing that it is — which means not bludgeoning them over the head with it! As the apostle Paul told his protégé, Timothy, “the goal of our instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5, CSB). And as James 1:19-20 instructs, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.”

Here’s hoping and praying God will stir up fresh ranks of Christians who will strive to promote righteousness and spread God’s kingdom with love, understanding, wisdom, and boldness, keeping our priorities fixed on gospel essentials and having hearts open to our neighbors who desperately need the hope and peace only Christ can give.

Thank you for reading. I’m glad you’re here, and I’m glad to be writing again.

See you down the path.

Categories: Personal

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