Blogs are for the megalomaniac who loves the sound of his own voice.
At least that’s what I thought 10 years ago as a young college student. And yet for the last 10 years I’ve benefited from reading scores of blogs posted by people who are working out their own salvation with fear and trembling, while helping people like me along the way.
Fear. The truth is I hid behind the aforementioned maxim (that blogs are the seedbed of self-importance!) out of my own fear. If I have a blog people will critique me, pick me apart, or worse, maybe find out that there is nothing to me.
Ben Myers, Australian theologian and blogger par excellance, has helped disabuse me of my old (mis)understanding of the blog space. In his paper, Theology 2.0: Blogging as Theological Discourse, Myers makes a strong case that writing, particularly writing of the reflective, self-probing genre, has been understood as a necessary practice for the formation of one’s self. He writes: “In his 1982 work, Orality and Literacy, Walter Ong argued for the unique power of linguistic technologies in shaping the human self. ‘More than any other single invention,’ he argued, ‘writing has transformed the human self.’ Writing must be understood here as a technology, as a practice that structures the way we relate to the world and to each other.”
Rather than not writing because people might find there is nothing to me, I am submitting myself to the discipline of writing in hopes that this Something that I’m longing for–this fullness of Life, this yearning to apprehend the Great Mysteries–will become more deeply embedded within me. Writing in some strange way becomes the hammer that drives the nail of longing ever deeper.
Eugene Peterson, in his own quest toward a long faithfulness, writes: “I began to sense that my writing was at some deeper level a conversation with scripture. At the same time a conversation with my congregation. But conversation, not explaining, not directing. I was exploring the country, this land of the living. And I was taking my time…not writing what I knew, but writing into what I didn’t know, edging into a mystery.”
And that is why I begin my blog today. Because there are mysteries to be edged into, a land of the living that must be explored, and something about sketching it out moves the whole project farther along, nudges the interiority of one’s spiritual life out into the wide open spaces of the public sphere where one can be sharpened, challenged, spiritually and intellectually tightened up by the Great Congregation of sinners and saints.
So off I go looking for mysteries to be edged and written into, longing for any companionship I can get along the way.