st-paul-the-apostleWhy write a blog? There must be a zillion of them out there. So many are motivated by some measure of self-indulgence, I suppose, some hankering toward self-promotion. That there are so many, coming from all different angles, surely speaks to the splintering of our society. We each tend to read what confirms our thinking in the first place. So why would I want to revamp and refresh and begin again writing my own blog? Why not just let things go? Can’t you just relax, I ask myself?

Here are the rules of the blog game these days. Don’t talk about politics, unless you want to lose half your audience: “Oh, he’s too conservative,” or “he’s way too liberal.” I get both of those from time to time.

And surely don’t declare yourself Christian. There too you will lose most of the reading public: “No need to listen to Christians anymore”—that’s the report we get from our surrounding culture. “History has passed you folks by. Get real. Leave the mysterious stuff for church or some private corner of your life. Don’t try to go public, for goodness sake.”

So why write? I think my own motivation comes from the yearning to go deeper. Jesus encouraged his fishermen-soon-to-be followers to “put out into the deep.” That’s a metaphor that has driven me for years. I operate out of no presumption that I can go deep, only that I long to go there.

We all yearn, don’t we, for something well beneath the surfacy stuff we endure daily. Surfacy stuff  is necessary but doesn’t fully satisfy. At some point we’ve got to probe the deeper questions: How did things begin? How do we determine what is good and what is not (an age-old philosopher’s question)? How do we live good and decent lives? Where are things headed? Where does love come from? How about joy? What about suffering? Is there a purpose to our world? To my life? If love is good, how do we get more of it, how do we share more of it? Is our world really that screwed up, or does it just feel that way? How might we enjoy the beauty of what we experience around us? How might we contribute to a better world?

And then, perhaps the biggest question most days: How can I experience God’s presence more fully, more regularly, more openly, even in this swirling, chaotic world? That’s a question I want to talk about along the way in this blog. That’s in part the subject of my new book.

One other thing: I hope I can strike a note that is positive. I am looking for solutions at this stage of my life and our world. There is plenty of stuff out there telling us what is terribly wrong. But what is going right? What is good, perhaps in the ancient sense of goodness? Perhaps we can spot a few of the signposts that God has created his world out of the inexhaustible goodness of his heart. Doesn’t this goodness animate the very structure of the universe?

Some of what I will have to say will be personal, but only with the hope, as C. S. Lewis once said, that others will say, “what! Have you felt that too? I always thought I was the only one.” I hope what lies ahead will have meaning for you too! We need each other these days. We need to go deeper. We need to say something. That’s why I’m starting up my blog again.