I love the idea of blogging. Writing is something that I enjoy doing, and feel that often I communicate clearer in written communication than in verbal communication (although, I really don't think I'm bad at either). Particularly, if I am trying to espouse a particular complex thought the written form tends to be easiest for me to get that thought expressed.
While I was going through Fuller Seminary, I got to write quite a bit...on topics that were interesting but also very academic. But what it particularly did was limit how much I felt like writing for enjoyment, whether blogging, creatively on my own, or even journaling. Look at it like a needed break. When I was off from doing homework, I didn't want to do exactly what I had just been doing (sitting at a computer screen and typing away). Yet now that I have graduated, I've been letting the desire and enjoyment of writing creep back into my life, and yet know that I need to be consistent in feeding the skill if it is to be a blog.
This is where my desire starts to drag a bit as it seems that there are so many voices out there on the Internet these days. Between the commentators on news sites, bloggers, and then the comment boards on blogs, it is apparent that there is no shortage of words and voices out there. What makes mine unique?
By nature, I am someone who sits and thinks through a topic or discussion point. I tend to try to see things from others points of view. Fuller Seminary helped to instill in me, as well. the idea of dialogue and the ability to listen and learn from each other. A by-product of this is that I see so many people communicating in monologue form. (yes the irony is this is a monologue at this point).
In stating what they think, and then others debate back and for in the comments (sports, politics, and theology of course all have this in their very nature it seems!). But it is rare to see genuine thoughtfulness in these posts with regards to dialogue rather than simply stating what is already believed by a person and extrapolated into a particular argument on a particular topic for the day.
I know that was a long sentence which is not something that you should do on a blog. But somehow, this post is a bit of me processing how I'm going to find my voice in this blog.
Do I want to narrow it down to a particular topic?
Or keep it broad, incorporating many subjects?
At the present, I am leaning towards the latter, as it is what I enjoy in life: the exploration and the journey. Life isn't one-dimensional for me. There are many interests, and actually, the overlap quite a bit. There is a holistic bent to my life, a synthesis of understanding myself not in many separate parts, activities, or likes, but in the integrated whole.
I love sports, particularly football and NASCAR. I also very much enjoy hiking and the outdoors. Two different bucket-list items I would love to do would be:
1) To attend 4 or 5 straight NASCAR events, traveling between the tracks and staying there (in an RV?) on race weekends.
2) Do a week long thru-hike of at least 100 miles on a trail like the John Muir trail in California's Sierra Nevadas or the Continental Divide trail through Colorado and New Mexico (or further North if the weather is good!)
What do these two items have in common? Me. These are things that I enjoy doing, even though they are extremely different. Can I separate the two? Absolutely not. There is a spirit of adventure and journeying in both that are truly at the core of who I have been created to be.
When we bring in everything else - theology, reading, philosophy, geology, geomorphology, water quality and supply issues, wine tasting, music (appreciating - not necessarily creating!), history (and different types of this as well!), poetry, photography, animals, biology, and building teamwork around a common mission (like a Platoon Leader) the parts start to shape that whole.
I suppose that where this is heading is that I feel like if this blog is truly going to be me expressing and finding my voice, it has to be varied in all its complexity. I don't feel like I can separate these passions, these ideas, these areas of interest when it comes to writing. Matters of faith and science I cannot separate into two separate realms that do not inform each other. Rather, they must be integrated, thoughtfully processed and dialogued with others.
This will probably mean that there are many who will find things "wanting" or come to quick judgments over certain things that I say. Like that I am BOTH a Indianapolis Colts fan and a Peyton Manning fan at this point. I will be pulling for both of them, but if Peyton's Broncos ever face the Colts, you can be I will pull for the Colts to win, but for Peyton to play well! This example is just a sports issue - not a philosophical, religious/theological/spiritual, or political matter which of course have tons more judgment right at the surface!
So what was the point of this post? Nothing, I suppose, yet everything. To declare that this blog will live up to its title: Wandering Thoughts. No topic is off-limits, if it is on my mind. While I'll put most sports-related entries at my other blog Fields of Friendly Strife, all else is fair game here. Because that is how I think. This is how I am - a complex unity of many passions, ideas, and thoughts. If I'm to find my voice, in concert with the voices of others who are equally able to profess their ideas, then it must be dialogue, varied, and thoughtful. For it to be dialogue, I need to continue to listen to others who are equally committed to the process, which I want to do! If you judge me for it, fine. That's your problem, not mine. But I truly hope that my voice adds to the discussion, and you find it to be insightful at times, but always loving and supportive even in disagreement. Because in the end, it isn't just about my voice, its about all of our voices, our identities being found together, lovingly created in the image of God, each so uniquely crafted and developed, and living in that love.