I had such high hopes for this blog. I called it “The Relentless Pursuit” because I wanted to convey the idea that the Christian life is a pilgrimage, a continuous journey toward the goal of becoming like Jesus. I did not mean for that to suggest aimless wandering or constant frustration arising from failure to reach a destination.
I spent several hours today reviewing the content of the 180 blog posts I have so far published since October 2011. I have had to conclude that, to an uncomfortable degree, I seem to have placed too much emphasis on the “relentless” aspect of my pilgrimage and not enough on the nature of the “pursuit” and the importance of the destination.
For that I apologize. You, my readers, deserved better.
Before I started writing this blog, I made a list of scores of topics and themes and subject matter I wanted to address. Not just “religious” topics. I looked forward to exploring the interface of Christian faith with culture in general.
I wanted to make the point that, even though there are aspects of the culture which surely reflect an orientation inconsistent with the values and principles of the Kingdom of God, there is much about our culture for which we Christians can give thanks to God. Wonderful music and soul-stirring drama. Painters and poets, athletes and architects, humorists and scientists, authors and inventors. All of these have made laudable contributions to our culture, and I looked forward to interacting with all of them in the pages of this blog. I still do.
But so far, I haven’t, and for that I apologize.
So far, I have done far too much navel-gazing. Too much whining, too much second-guessing, too many expressions of regret. I fear that my blog has become an embodiment of that old bit of doggerel—”Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: ‘It might have been.'”
Instead of a “pursuit,” this blog has too often seemed to be making little progress, mired in muck up to its axles. Instead of an account of the difficulties associated with an attempt to swim the English Channel, I have spent too much time treading water.
I wish I could tell you that I expect things to change in the near future. I hope they will, but I’ve given up that kind of expectation. I won’t try to make excuses. I will, however, offer an explanation.
I have recently begun to think of my life experience of the past ten years or so in the metaphorical imagery of a jet airplane. For a number of years, I wasn’t sure I was on the right plane. The flight was bumpy, my seat was uncomfortable, and I wasn’t confident of the destination. Gradually, the uncertainties were addressed, I got a new seat assignment, and I settled in for what I thought was the long haul.
That’s when the turbulence really kicked in. The plane shook so violently the overhead compartment doors flew open. We were told the pilot was changing courses and things should soon settle down. They did, briefly, but then the new course became as turbulent as the earlier one had been. In some ways, it has been worse.
At the moment we are losing altitude. That can only mean one of two things. Either we will soon be landing or, well… you know. The captain, if there really is a captain, has stopped communicating with the passengers. Or so it seems. The flight attendants are still smiling and dispensing platitudes and bromides. I seem to hear music playing, but I can’t tell if it is “Happy Days Are Here Again” or “Nearer, My God, To Thee.”
At a moment like this, in a situation like this, I hope I can be forgiven for my inability to focus on all those other things that I had hoped to write about in this blog. At the moment, all of my sensibilities seem focused on the uncertainty of my circumstances. It is hard to concentrate. I seem to have fibromyalgia of the soul. Spiritually speaking, everything hurts. It’s not incapacitating. Only distracting. I know it affects everything I do and say and write. I hope it will get better.
Until then, I apologize.