My Week Off

I took a week off from blogging (3), because I felt confused about why I was blogging (2), and because I feel I need to be more engaged in real life and spend less time on the computer (1).

(1)
I still spent too much time on the computer, even without blogging. There’s a bunch of other blogs that I like to visit (lately I’ve added Feeble Knees, Joe Missionary, and Messy Christian), plus EverythingDulcimer.com, Homestarrunner, and a young friend’s art page at DeviantArt. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with reading some other blogs and visiting these other sites.

The problem is when I use the computer to deal with my loneliness. After reading everything, sometimes I’ll go back to a site I’ve already visited, or wonder what else I could go look at, or what I could write about, or who I could email, in order to maintain this strange and obviously false sense of connectedness from being online. Back when we used CompuServe and had an Instant Messenger program, sometimes I’d send an IM to Jesus, and I’d get this error message: “Jesus is not currently available” or something like that. I’d partly feel sad and forlorn, because this is what I am tempted to think is true about God’s silence, and I’d partly laugh at myself for my little joke, getting the computer to “confirm” my temptation.

(2)
I’m still a little unsure of my purpose in blogging. I think I mainly just want to talk about things I think are interesting, as they come up in my thoughts and activities. I need to be less concerned about trying to be as interesting and articulate and relevant and timely as other bloggers, and just write what I want to write. I also need to be less concerned about my stats; who cares if anyone is reading or not? It’s nice information to have, but I don’t want to become a slave to it.

(3)
One recent Wednesday, we met with our pastor to talk about becoming members of our church. Among other things, we spent a lot of time just talking about how we were and how our marriage was. Last Friday evening the husband and I talked more about this conversation.

One thing we discussed was sanctification, our growth in Christ. We understand that sanctification is by grace through faith, just like justification is. (Justification is having our sins paid for by Christ, and having his righteousness imputed to us.) We also understand that we can’t just go sin all we want; what we do matters, and what we do is one of the things God uses to sanctify us. What we don’t understand is how to go about living. What is our role in our sanctification? What does God want us to do? Jesus’ words sometimes hint that we must perform certain deeds, and sometimes they hint that our role is simply to believe and to follow. It’s a little confusing.

Follow me
The work of God is to believe in the one whom he has sent
If you love me, you will obey my commandments
Go, sell all you have and give it to the poor
Love the Lord your God… and your neighbor as yourself

Above all, we think we need to be seeking God himself. All of those other things come from seeking God himself, but without the seeking him, they’re so much law and willpower and pride and emptiness. It’s interesting how the folks who are blogging through Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline have noted this very thing in the first chapter — the disciplines cannot be allowed to become law or worship of the will, but must be motivated by the desire to be with God.

I’ve also started reading my journals from six years ago. All sorts of interesting things in there.

Otherwise, my week off included practicing with my duo partner for a wedding that was then cancelled (how terrible!), playing at the Farmers Market, tuning, practicing with The Hanshaw Trio, working in the garden (the carrots have started coming up in the Tire!), going to a barbecue to celebrate the graduation of two Ph.D. students in our small group, and thinking about what my next solo CD might be like.

Oh, and I was featured in our alumni magazine!

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