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When I first started writing for The Twelve life was much different. My kids were young and my beard was shorter with much less grey. I was an eager professor who wanted to write. I really wanted to write books, and was given advice from a wise sage named Schaap who told me if I wanted to learn to write well I needed to practice. Truth be told, that’s why I wrote blogs—an attempt to find voice and style. Two weeks ago my Friday to write came and went. I knew it was my turn, so I sat down at the keyboard and…nothing. Not nothing in the sense of having nothing to write about—there are things I care deeply about. There are serious issues facing our churches, our communities, our institutions—the list goes on. There are beautiful and joyous things to reflect on too, but lately I just don’t feel like sharing them with the world. I’d rather sit by the lake, with the cool westerly breeze carrying the smell of Minnesota lake water, smoking my cigar just embracing the moment. Call me selfish, but these are moments I just don’t care to share.
My friend and neighbor tells me all the time about molting—you know, how birds shed feathers or snakes shed their skin. The old stuff gives way to something new. Well, I’m molting. Sitting at my computer I tried to think of something to write, but after a bit I just turned off the computer and went downstairs. There are things I care deeply about, but they’re fewer and fewer, most of them can’t be discussed in 400 words. Sometimes I wonder if these blogs serve a purpose. By now I know who’s going to be upset, and who will write a comment of encouragement. I appreciate both, really, but it makes me wonder if all this blogging is just an exercise in bias confirmation or preaching to the choir. Then, out of the blue, I got an email saying my blog post from 2014 was used for a devotional at a conference. Just when you think it’s not worth it…
My wife asked me what I was going to write about for my final blog. “Festivas” I said. “It’s going to be my ‘I’ve got a lot of problems with you people and you’re going to hear about it!’ finale.” “Um, no,” was all she said. So, I leave you with this: It’s been a privilege to write for The Twelve all these years, but I’m molting. There are other issues and initiatives that need more of my time. I’ll continue to seek God’s kingdom by loving my neighbor, hopefully you will too. Finally, I’m proud of the fact one of my most widely read blogs was about Bob’s Bar. Jesus talked about the kingdom of God as a banquet; today, I think he’d tell stories about dive bars, cheeseburgers, and cheeseballs by the pound.