My daughter Irene, aged 5
The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he’s always doing both. James A. Michener
Simone Beauvoir, brilliant philosopher and life-long partner of Jean-Paul Sartre describes in Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter her pleasure in studying philosophy.
She found grown up, brilliant people seriously discussing the very same questions which had intrigued her as a child. Eternity. The good life. God. Right. Wrong. Happiness. Time. Goodness.
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I find the same pleasure in theology. It deals with the same questions which puzzled me as a child. Is there a God? Is Christ God? Why did Christ die, and for whom? How can I be happy? How should I live? What is the purpose of life?
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And blogging for me only retains its fun when it has a child-like sense of play. When I can play with ideas, think them through, record my conclusions, capturing stray bluebirds and hummingbirds of thought. Occasionally sharing cool things I’ve learned– beach glass and starfish of facts; little ideas, little insights, little delights. When I can write short imperfect posts every day, rather than one perfect post a week.
Whenever I get too ninja about it, and want to write big, significant, meaty posts, which make people think, and get shared and retweeted, blah-di-blah, blogging takes too long, and loses its fun. Stress enters the domain of play.
And my life becomes slightly less pleasurable because my blog is taking too much time, making “real writing” impossible.
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So, when I was praying about my blog today, I heard surprising advice, but advice I hear each time I pray about my blog, “Lower your standards. Write shorter posts. Try just one idea per post.”
I no longer even try to write the big meaty posts. I don’t have the energy to. Instead, I ask, “So what are you saying to me, Lord? What are you teaching me?” or even “What’s on my mind?”
And these may be small, slight things, but they may speak to someone I do not know.
One aspect of a prophetic ministry is tuning in to God’s thoughts and sharing them with others.
Can a blog do this? I would like mine to try.
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I know that I have the most fun, and the most delight in writing when I calm down, slow down and tap into the stream of what God is saying to me, or even into my own inner stream of consciousness, and then record it, be it a minuscule humble insight or a life-changing one.
For we need both, don’t we? Cups of coffee, glasses of cold water, snacks, and the occasional banquet.
And I find the most joy in blogging when being at play in the fields of the Lord, or the fields of the blog, become one and the same.