Years ago, when I started blogging, I intended to post some sort of reflection at least three days a week. My secret goal was even more demanding: to take the advice of master marketer Seth Godin who says that it’s best to post each day. He encourages bloggers to practice the discipline of showing up regularly and offering generously whatever gifts one might have. He thinks that persistent practice and steady “shipping” is the surest way for a bloggers to make a meaningful contribution to those folks who might choose to read and also to discover their own distinctive voices.
Though I think Godin is right, I’ve never managed to post each day of a week, and it’s been a long time since I posted more than once in seven days. It has been ten days since I wrote about “downsizing.” I’ve started and discarded several posts, saved a few drafts for further editing, and made notes about ways to enrich and refresh the writing I do on this site.
Nothing, though, felt “post-worthy,” so I’m going meta and writing this post about the difficulty I’ve had with writing a post (That means, I suppose, that I’m post-modern, even though I lack something post-worthy).
For a long time, I wrote about the joys and challenges of leading a faith-community. After I left the pastorate of First Baptist Church of Asheville in January of 2015, I lost the context, the prompts, and much of the energy for that kind of writing.
I’m still, of course, intrigued by how faith and culture(s) interact, about how love and grace transform us into our best and truest selves, and about how to live courageously and faithfully as followers of Jesus in the shadows of empire.
In early February of 2014, I began another site to trace my journey with cancer, its treatment, and the diminishments they bring and the lessons they teach. I haven’t updated it since April of 2015.
It seemed important to have a separate cancer site, so that people could easily avoid, if they so chose, reading about the dreary world of labs, chemotherapy, fatigue, and pain.
Candidly, I also didn’t want to be “the cancer-guy/Guy.” It was hard to be sick in public, but my role left me little choice. It was—and is—difficult to write about increasing vulnerability, the steady loss of the illusion of control, and the ways in which my faith is becoming less settled but more vital. Since mid-winter, I’ve felt a tightening of personal limits, and I don’t like admitting that fact, even to myself.
There isn’t a crisis. The cancer remains relatively stable. Teaching at the university is good, and I’m grateful to be interim pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in West Asheville. I play racquetball, occasionally run on the treadmill, and regularly walk or hike for long distances. I have a couple of writing projects. I have a full life, and I’m so grateful.
However, I need to learn a skill that I’ve flunked learning, despite repeated resolutions: the skill of matching more wisely my capacity and my commitments—of living more intentionally with a sense of margin, with interludes of rest, and with time for “being.”
And, I want to shift the focus and broaden the dimensions of this blog. I welcome any suggestions you might have.