I think that there is a fundamental problem with blogging. It’s very easy to only see your own world view and get continuous reinforcement of said view by people commenting, reading, etc. Yet I am becoming increasingly aware that my perspective is extremely limited. I received one of those “fill in the blank” things via email a while back, and the first one was “Four places I go often.” I could only think of two, church and the library. I spend most of my time at home, some of my time at church, and the rest divided among stores, library, and people’s homes, but that remainder is very small. Most of my perspective is influenced heavily by the same teachings I have always grown up with, those of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. And while I don’t necessarily disagree with those teachings, I do struggle with the fact that I’m not getting out there and meeting new people along the way.
High school was easier. I was immersed in a culture wholly unlike my own. Even in college I had the opportunity to be stretched by others. I missed out on opportunities to witness, though, because I was often too weak to speak up about what I believed. I like to think that I’d be different now, but the truth is I find it easiest to speak up when I’m in “church mode.” After all, if I’m talking about God’s truth at church or with church members, even if they disagree with me, it’s much less intimidating. I’ve got stuff to back up what I’m saying that we ultimately agree upon. But to talk to people who begin by saying that the Bible is fictional is much more difficult. I’ve never been very good at that. Maybe it’s why I’ve cloistered myself in the world of the church. I married a pastor and trained to be a church worker, and if I don’t want to, I never have to remove myself from the “church comfort zone.” I avoid interacting with strangers as much as possible, whether it’s the person in line behind me at the store or the sales clerk offering to set up a fitting room or the construction workers we see daily in our still-developing townhome complex.
I’m not going to stop blogging any time soon, but I am going to start following some other blogs, maybe seek out some viewpoints that are different than my own. If any of you have suggestions, I’d love to hear them. This is an area I know God is challenging me in, to get back into the world. While we are told by Him to not be “of the world,” we still need to be “in the world.” I’ve been avoiding that for a long time now. Please pray for me in this, it’s scary to go out into the world.
bethany actually said:
I know exactly what you mean. And now I’m going to talk about “Chuck”, the TV show with which I’ve recently become enamored, but bear with me, it really is related! 🙂
A couple of weeks ago I crocheted my way through all the Chuck episodes I could find online (on Hulu, TheWB.com and NBC.com as well as a few digital downloads I had to purchase through Amazon). I finished the second season but still had crocheting left, so I started looking around online for other videos—interviews of the cast members on talk shows, Comic-Con panels, that kind of thing. The more I saw of the star, Zachary Levi, the more intrigued I became because he often very unselfconsciously said things like “God willing” or “God has a plan” or “we’re so blessed.” I did a little googling about him, and lo and behold, discovered that it’s well-known in Hollywood that he’s a Christian.
I’ve watched a few more interviews with him since then, and have been impressed with how gracefully he seems to wear his faith. Now, I don’t know him, and I have not heard him out-and-out witnessing nor heard him give a testimony. He isn’t prudish; I’ve heard him use a few mild cuss words and make off-color jokes. But I’ve also noticed that he’s unfailingly polite and respectful to whomever he’s talking. I’ve seen him get out of answering rude or uncomfortable questions using quick thinking and a sense of humor. I’ve seen him interacting with his co-workers and friends in loving, generous ways. I’ve heard him reference things like God’s infinite nature, God creating people, and the Ten Commandments in various interviews and clips, which is a LOT more than you usually hear from a Hollywood actor on a mainstream talk show.
I don’t know Zachary Levi’s heart; only God knows that. But it looks to me like he is living his faith in an open way in a place where it’s very hard to do, in such a way that others around him find him attractive and want to know what he has. I was thinking about how challenging that must be and how often I fall short of even the smallest displays of my faith online, how often I keep my mouth shut when I suspect someone would ridicule or belittle me for what I believe. I think knowing that someone in Hollywood who shares my faith is living it out in a much more open way in a much more hostile environment will help me remember that I can witness too, and not be afraid of the consequences. God can only use me as His instrument if I let him. I pray that He will give me more courage and wisdom to do so!
Cyberspace is the ultimate anonymity. When we blog, some folks may know us, some folks may THINK they know us, but we are pretty well hidden. But, if you want to open up, you get many different opinions and comments about your life, all offered with that same air of helpful anonymity.
Good response here based on my having just watched Ben Stein’s Expelled. He closes with “If you don’t get involved, who will bring this message to the world? Anyone? Anyone?” (with, of course, the same “Anyone?” he used in Ferris Bueller).
We must bring on all fronts the message of the cross because it is written in 1 Corinthians 1:
18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
19 For it is written, “I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE.”
20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.