January 1, 2011, as I prayed through the New Year and asked God for His direction, I very clearly sensed Him saying to write every day. Every single day. Up to that point I was sporadic, a post here, a post there, irregular and undisciplined, whenever I’d feel like it. Sure, I said I wanted to write a book, to use written communication to share the truth of Jesus, but I wasn’t actually doing it very much.
So He said to write every day.
And I did. And so often I’d go back and ask Him if I could do less. Write less. This everyday stuff is hard. Exhausting. But He never let me off the hook. And He’d always provide exactly the words at exactly the time. Every time.
But something this year is different. It’s been more than two years of everyday-writing. And right now God is shaking things up in my life. Messing with me. I wish I could say that I like it, but it’s kind of a yucky-feeling. Sometimes, a lot of times, selfish ambition gets mixed in there with godly ambition. Making followers of me gets mixed with making followers of Jesus. Definitions of success get mixed up. The idea of “ministry” gets a radical make-over and leaves me questioning everything.
Like how loving a drug-addict last week, in real time, might be more important than drafting a blog post.
And then Tim Keller says this in Bible Study Magazine this month:
“[Loving God and loving your neighbor] means being sincere. People in the city have to see that you’re not just trying to increase your following … The city needs to see us loving our neighbor.”
What do I spend more time doing? Loving my neighbor (my real neighbor, the real-life, hurting, broken person sitting in front of me) or working to increase my online following in the name of loving my neighbor?
I start to feel sick to my stomach.
So I wrestle. Write less, love more. But it’s still hard. I’m part of an online world that’s always pushing forward. Always new looks. More content. More ways to grab people’s attention. And then I think of a friend of mine, another blogger. And since she’s on my mind I click her site. And you know what I find?
God told her to quit. And she obeyed. She up and quit blogging because God told her to. And all of a sudden I’m so encouraged to simply obey God, because while pride pushes, integrity inspires. And her integrity, before God and people, inspires me. I sense the storm settling into clarity.
Then, of course, yesterday Jeff sends me this quote:
“How to be insignificant: reach for your own self-defined significance. Big-deal-ness undermines itself. Ambition demotes.
How to be significant: forget about your big plans and obey Jesus radically in sacrificial ways that make no sense unless he himself is the reward.” Ray Ortland Jr.
I’m on the floor now.
Now, I will confess to you that in this past month, as I’ve wrestled, I’ve actually Googled (this is so embarrassing) “Optimum number of blog posts per week.”
Insert vomit here.
And of course all the experts say you should blog everyday. Of course. And then of course this morning I open my Bible and read in Joshua where they are conquering the promised land and the Gibeonites pull a prank and trick Israel into establishing a treaty with them. You remember why?
The men of Israel took of [the Gibeonite] provisions, but did not ask counsel from the LORD. (Joshua 9:14)
They looked at the evidence, but didn’t listen to the Lord. In other words, they Googled the “right” answer but didn’t ask God.
And you know what? Whey they didn’t ask counsel of the Lord the result was exhausting. They had to deal with these thorn-in-the-flesh Gibeonites forever, all because they didn’t take counsel from the Lord.
I don’t know about you. I think I’m going to listen.
So here’s the deal: It’s not headline news, but we’re shifting to a MWF schedule. I’ll still lay out my heart and share God’s Word and my messy life here in this place, but only three times a week. I believe this is obedience to God, and I’m trusting Him that less is more.
Thank you so much for reading.
PS Surprise! My sweet friend Sarah updated the site yesterday and I didn’t realize it’d be live today. Kind of ironic that on the day I share about doing less, the whole site is revamped. Grateful for her work. Hope you enjoy the fresh look.