The last few months have been a bit bizarre for me. For a long time I seemed to just lose a bit of motivation. For a long time, I had been pursuing a new job, a new home, new gifts and opportunities in church and breaking free of my past – and it seemed that in February/March, I kinda achieved it. I got my new, brilliant flat and decorated it how I wanted it, I got a new, less stressful job, I am doing things in church and getting lots of encouragement and feeling like I’m being discipled. I was reading the Bible and books generally more than ever before, and felt alive in a way I hadn’t before.
Indeed, all these things are still going on in my life. Life is good, and I am growing in God and being discipled in a way I have never been, and learning more about God all the time. I’m reading the Bible regularly and reading a whole lot more. I’m growing in my gifts and getting more opportunities. Those things haven’t stopped or changed.
But something happened. I got to a point and suddenly I’d achieved all the things I wanted to achieve for so long. The things God had been pushing me to do, had given me the desire to do and opened doors for me to do were all happening or had happened.
I had so many issues I wanted to deal with, so much pain, so much frustration, so much pushing me into this new life and I dealt with them all and God took me on a journey. The problem was that when I finished working these through, it was like I was out of conflict. I was in a good place – which, for me, is a rare thing. I was in a comfort zone. I knew that I didn’t want to be there, and God doesn’t generally like us getting too comfortable.
It was at that point I sat down and started wondering why I wrote this blog, what the purpose of it was, who it was for. Now, with some space away from it, I’ve realized a lot of my motivation before did indeed come from wanted to please, impress and get support from others. To get others approval, to be well known, to get numbers. In one sense my heart had been in the right place – my passion and vision, and my heart, were focussed on God and doing it for Him out of what He had given me. I have always been pretty self-aware, more than some people think, and my desire was always to please God and I became aware that if I didn’t write I felt a bit empty. Lonely even. Almost like I was trying to earn God’s approval so I could do all the other things He wanted me to do, or pay Him back for all the ways He’d blessed me.
But praying last night it all became clear to me.
God has things for me to do. To write. To create. To talk about. He has given me insights, ideas, dreams, words and a real heart for His church and for exploring what it means to follow Him. He’s given me this gift of writing, a gift of speaking and communicating, and the gift of intelligence, insight, understanding and interpretation, to be able to see the bigger picture and understand things more deeply.
I don’t say any of that to be arrogant, I’m just trying to be honest about my gifts – and these weren’t given for my fame, glory, enjoyment or amusement, but to be stewarded responsibly.
So I need to get to work on the things God has given me, and when and where they make it public isn’t the issue, its about being faithful to what God gives me. The purpose of this blog, I realised, can be for me to explore these ideas in bite-sized chunks, throw ideas out for people to look at, to take people on my journey with me. That’s not to say that anything I publish would be rough notes, but just that a lot of the time it will only be a part of something bigger I am working on, or end up contributing to something bigger.
In many ways, to be honest, that’s what this blog has always been about, taking a look back over the years and various posts. Most of those posts I still have, and could well be the core of something I work on in future.
Of course there may be times when I get a little bit of inspiration and write it down, and it stays complete in itself. But overall this can be more of a testing ground for ideas, for me as much as anyone else.
It can be a safe place to explore things I am working on, ideas I have, conclusions I’ve come to, in a place where I can get feedback but it still be relatively rough.
The difference is that this way the blog isn’t the point. The blog isn’t the focus. My focus will be working on the stuff I’ve been wanting to work on for ages, that God has given me to do but I’ve been procrastinating about for various reasons, one of them being the blog/private work dilemma. Now I clearly can have my priority as working on the things that God is giving me to do in a more disciplined, organised way, but with the blog as an outlet for ideas as they come to me in a relatively organised way.
I’ve often said the Bible isn’t the point, Jesus is. Well I’ve finally realised. I’ve made that decision. My blog isn’t go to be the point anymore. The point is me exploring what God is giving me to do, studying, learning and writing, and developing my gifts and myself, and stepping out of my comfort zone into the challenge of self-discipline. The blog is merely an outlet for me to use to test, explore and experiment with things in a safe context, and I don’t need to feel guilty about not blogging for a while, because the blog isn’t the point.
I have Don Miller to thank in a big way for this. He’s a great author and has written some great books, but he also has an equally good blog. On the front page he says himself that the blog is essentially a testing ground for future work, and that many of his books have started life there. I’ve been reading the blog for a while and had kinda noticed it, but last night God kinda woke me up to the idea in reality, so thank you God and thank you Don.
I’m writing this blog today partially for myself, because I want to get down exactly where I am right now to remind myself, to focus my mind and clear it of the clutter.
But I’m also doing this for you, my readers – because those of you who know me, who I keep in contact with, who are reading this, I want you to be accountable for this. I want to give you permission to remind me of this if you think I’m going off base, or I ever seem confused as to what I’m doing.
There are several other things I feel I need to share with you after last night’s moment of clarity,but those are for another day.
For now, I’ve shared with you my moment of clarity. Please don’t ever let me forget it.