If at first you don’t succeed…

keep-calmI’ve been thinking long and hard over the past month or so, about why it has been so hard for me to write (as some of you have noticed).  Some days I feel like I have real clarity.  Other days I’m just swimming in my personal abyss of uncontrolled thinking.  

Tonight is a little clearer, so I’ll give it a shot.  Here are some reasons why I think my writing here has been so weak and sporadic:

  • Writing a new sermon every week has become more difficult.  Maybe some post-surgery concentration issues.  Maybe due to trying to figure out a new routine to stay fresh after 44 years of weekly preaching and teaching.  Who knows?  But it’s a grind.
  • Some days I feel like, “Why bother?  Everything’s already been said.”
  • I don’t read Facebook much anymore.  Mostly when I get notified if people write something directly to me…or about me, sometimes.  It just feels wrong that I would want or expect someone to read what I write, but I’m not taking the time to read what they write.
  • I feel as if I’m busier now than I’ve ever been.  How did that happen?
  • I’m reading more than I am writing.  This has been good for me, though.  I’ve got six new books that are sitting on my end table and night stand waiting to be started.
  • Some days, I take late-night, rabbit-trail, web surfing to unknown levels of greatness.
  • My old buddy, depression, has shown up frequently in the past year.  It most often takes the form of staring, accompanied by undisciplined thinking.  Talk about a picture of productivity!
  • For the first time ever, I’ve let myself get sucked into following the circus of our presidential election process.  I have never, ever, done that.  It’s not who I am.  I have so many more important things going on in my life.  The majority of the time I think about writing, I have been drawn to react to things related to the issues of this political season. That generally stops my writing cold.  Dead in the water.

Most often, though, I find myself getting two or three paragraphs into a potential blog post, and then I get the feeling I don’t really have anything important to say.  I suppose it’s that simple.

So it’s time for a change.  After eight years of blogging for, essentially, the same audience and the same reasons, I’m going to try and breathe some fresh life into my writing.  For me. If you get something out of it, even better.  This is I want to do for my heart.  For my spirit. For my well-being.  Totally selfish.

Well, sort of.

I’ve decided to do the majority of my writing to my grandkids.  In the past, I’ve written occasional blog posts to them.  That has not been enough.  I really want to leave my story for them…to them.  I don’t expect them to read it anytime soon.  They’re too busy growing up.  But maybe someday they’ll want to know my story.  Maybe it will matter to them what I believed, what I felt strongly about, what my life was all about.  They deserve to hear it in my own words.

I wish I knew my dad’s story.  He wasn’t much of a talker.  Not a writer, either.  He was a hard-working man who showed his love and dedication to me and my mom by getting up early every day, putting on his work boots and his work ethic, getting in his Dodge pickup truck (three speed on the column), and earning a life-giving, life-sustaining paycheck for us every week.

There was never much time for storytelling.  I wish there was.  Oh, how I wish there was. There is a part of me that I will never know.  There is a part of me and a huge part of him my boys will never.  We all lose.

Just in case it matters someday, I want my kids and their kids to have the opportunity to know.  There is no guarantee I will get to tell them personally.

So I’m going to start writing to them, my little family tree.  I think I’ve got lots to say and right now I feel like I’ve got an audience, even though they don’t know it yet.

You can read it if you want.  It may feel a little like eavesdropping, but that’s ok.  Maybe you’ll read something that will be of value to you.  I know I will throw in some random posts along the way that might be of more interest to you, so it really might be worth your while to stick around.

I hope you do.

Btw…do you like the new background theme?  I think I do.

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9 thoughts on “If at first you don’t succeed…

  1. Your words give me hope, they open my mind to a world that I just entered the last several years…. such a great ideal to write to children….

  2. I have always sensed that the protestant style of church puts too much pressure on the pastor to be the body of Christ instead of the body of Christ. There is a difference between the Quarterback, the referee, and the Coach, but this is blurred and combined for protestants in the Pastor which usually interferes with Christians not developing their gifts while he looses communication and discernment from God trying to do everything. Why does the pastor have to give the message? Why does the pastor have to be the main focus? Why are protestants churches- Pastor centered and not God centered? Why is the praise and worship always cut short and does not allow God to speak after entering his courts and coming into his presence? The charismatic movement understood this, but when the music was taken over by the mainstream churches they conveniently left the most important part out, hearing from God. Also, overly loud music is not necessary since the holy spirit is not hard of hearing. The reason I have gone to church is to meet God either directly or through his people. Whether I meet God in the music, the scripture, the praise, the worship, gifts, praise reports, thanksgiving, confessing of sin, tongues, interpretations, healing, prophecy, witnesses, or the message, the essential requirement is that I meet God. God is not boring and he certainly is not predictable, but man is. He will show up if hearts are open.

    This message is a general observation and not specifically addressed to any body.

  3. I believe lots of people who read your writing will be able to relate to this post. You write what’s in your heart. I personally love to read what you have to write, so thank you for all of it!!

  4. Sounds to me like someone needs a sabbatical… I hear Colorado is a nice place to go for those and I think I know someone who could potentially hook you and Wanda up with meals and lodging in exchange for 24 hours of volunteer service per week. 🙂 I could make sure you ended up somewhere quiet that would allow you plenty of time to read and write. Think about it. Anytime September thru April – you say the word and I am on it.

    1. So good to hear from you Spider. A sabbatical has always been something for people that run in different circles than I do. I appreciate the offer, tho. It sounds like a great thing, but at my age, time away from Wanda is something I do begrudgingly and as seldom as possible…and her time off is limited to only a week (or two, once in a while) at a time. We hope to vacation in Colorado some day again. It’s such an amazing place. It would be great to see you again. Hope all is well.

  5. My wife and I just went to a Padres game on the weekend, which reminded me to check out your latest writing here. Btw, miss Sunday nights with you and Wanda in your living room. I can relate to 3 speed on the column of my my Dad’s truck and wanting to leave a written legacy for my kids/gkids, and beyond. (Haven’t written since ‘Half Yet Whole’). So let’s do this Mike. One slight clarification from your blog here, they know your Dad through you. Hard to lose the mojo from the real source of life. Miss you.

    1. Dan, it’s so good to hear from you! Let me know when you’re back to writing. I have great memories of those times we shared in HB.

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