Writing is not a new concept. But blogging is. Wording, grammar, punctuation, coherence... revise, edit, re-read... repeat the process 10 times before sending... because what you send is instantly out there.
I have access to a world of knowledge that was unthinkable forty years ago. The world has access to me (at least to what I write). But what do I gain from that access? How interconnected am I, really?
While the desire to share my thoughts remains the same, I do not mean for the exercise to focus attention on me. The object of the game is to help others. I can't make people hungry to see Jesus or willing to live for him... but by transparently putting my journey on display, maybe the fog enveloping the trail dissipates a bit for the seeker coming up behind me.
I think that is what we are here for, those of us who have been around for a while. In a previous post, I wrote about the challenge of carrying our perspicacity with us into old age. Intellectual curiosity may help us to remain alert and engaged. An enlarged heart is not a good thing if a cardiologist is pointing at it on my x-ray… but an enlarged heart is a very good thing if that is how my spiritual life can be described.
Having said all of that, there are limitations in this endeavor that are worthy of reflection. Over time, they can become traps to avoid.
Blogging and any self-validating feedback that comes from it can produce unhealthy by-products. More hits, exposure, likes, and popularity are helpful to some degree. But what if that only makes me feel more self-assured than I should? Mere validation is not enough. It is not even close to the most important thing.
Have I trapped Greg inside the parameters of something he has written? Does my online persona keep people at a distance rather than draw them closer? I should not limit who I will be in the future by how I define myself now. I am more than a conviction about a facet of Bible teaching; I am not the product that I am selling; I am not a job description.
Being appreciated should be a work of grace in people who know the whole Greg, warts and all. This is something that is not going to happen online.
Connection is different from approval or validation, and so much more lonely-conquering. The Infinity Diaries
Having online friends is not the same as having "flesh-and-blood-in-the-same-room-with-you" friends… especially when you are lonely… or hurting… or angry... or dying. I don't know if we are designed to stay healthy in an excessively digital environment. I wonder if it is a factor in the increasingly random sociopathy and unthinkable violence we have to assimilate every day?
I, for one, need more than Facebook likes and WhatsApp praying hands. I need to be around people who know the whole Greg… and who still want to see him again. I need a real hug once in a while.
But I’m guessing that’s what most everyone else needs, too, right?
"Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind." 1 Peter 3:8
Greg was raised near Milwaukee, WI. He has lived outside of the United States since 1976... first in Central America and, since 1982, in Cancun, Mexico.
Concise devotions in Spanish and English, along with some lengthier essays… Designed for personal spiritual growth and to help anyone studying English or Spanish as a second language to improve their skills… Rev 14:6
To highlight one essential facet of the eternal Gospel of Jesus Christ... Rev 14:6; 2 Cor. 5:18
THANK YOU FOR READING!
"For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you." Philemon 1:7
Refreshing the Bones by Greg Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.