Life seems so terribly urgent sometimes, even when it’s not. I am new to this online community of people who are no longer connected by mere bonds of blood, color, or geography, and I already feel the pressure to communicate with you, as if I’ve joined a conversation part-way through and have hours and hundreds of words to make up.
We are a connected people today, but you know all of this already. We blog because we want our voices to be heard and because there is a community out there who will listen. We Facebook because we want to feel connected to one another, even if we are the loneliest of people. We Twitter because, well, who knows why we Twitter?
Writing is becoming an important part of my life, and while there is a sense in which it comes naturally, there’s also a tremendous amount I don’t know about the craft. Writing then, whether books, blogs, or tweets, is a response to a call on my life. So I am trying all of the mediums. I’ve re-engaged my Facebook community. I started to Twitter. And I’ve started this blog, which I intend to use in such a way as to reveal what is most important in my life. I hope it is my faith, and my desire to make much of Jesus, but we will have to see what comes out week by week. I suspect there’s far more superficiality to me than I care to admit.
Being connected to this larger world has been an interesting experience for me recently. I have been constantly thinking about these outlets for days straight. I feel a burden now that wasn’t there before, a responsibility to communicate to the ether, even if no one is listening. I have become needlessly self-absorbed, which is when I need God the most.
When I am like this, God never fails to show up. I recently boarded a flight from Connecticut to Washington DC, sat down in a window seat, opened up my laptop, and began thinking of the next tweet I should craft or the first blog post to write. As the tires left earth, my thoughts stayed on the ground, on what would need to be shot into cyberspace when we returned home. And most of the flight, I thought of nothing but what I would say to you.
But then lightning struck, not our airplane, but the clouds we were passing by. As I looked out my window, I saw grandeur few eyes have seen. The horizon was dark, a sea of clouds touched by night with slowly churning currents betraying unrest within. In the foreground were towering white clouds, racing towards the heavens with outstretched arms. And the lightning streaked across these clouds, illuminating them as far as I could see. It really was beautiful; I wish you could have been there.
My thoughts went from inward to upward in that moment, because who can think about oneself when they are standing before a Creator who commands lightning bolts? And I recalled why I want to write in the first place. Words are a gift, and they can be used for good or for evil. But I want these words to be useful to the Giver of words, to show His ultimate worth and beauty.
So I will fight to give miles of road to the weighty things that matter, but I’ll also allow the trivial space to run around at times until it grows tired. I hope you will join me in this journey and that these words will be a means of grace for God to shape you and me in the midst of our conversations.