Let’s continue, shall we?
When I left this space for an indefinite sabbatical in late May, one of the big reasons for that sabbatical was to evaluate my sense of the online world in its current incarnation and to determine, in light of that, how Still Forming could continue to best serve those who visit here.
For two years, I believed the best way for me to serve you in the increasing pace of life we’re living here in the 21st century was to offer a week-daily (Monday-Friday) oasis from the noise. To roll out the welcome mat five days a week so you could come in and breathe. Think. Reflect. Seek to live meaningfully in the midst of the swirling chaos that increasingly surrounds us.
But in May, I began to question that approach.
More and more, I felt I was just adding to the noise. Giving you one more thing to hear and attend to. Moving along at a pretty quick pace. (I mean, really. Posts five days a week? That’s a lot to follow.)
So I decided to stop. Do a little reflecting of my own. Turn down my Still Forming activity to the weekly email letters I write to the Sunday Quiet subscribers, the people I serve through ongoing spiritual direction, and my continued development of the Look at Jesus course. (Happy announcement: It’s almost ready to roll out. Hooray!)
It’s been a really helpful time of quiet for me.
I didn’t have any huge revelations about “the state of all things online” while I was away. Mostly, what I did was survey the landscape. And what I noticed as I surveyed was what I — and you — already knew: There’s a lot happening online. A lot of voices. A lot of content. So many ways people can connect and get information and fill their well with what they need.
But in the midst of that “no new revelation” noticing, I did find a new kernel of truth that I found helpful and which ultimately propelled me back here, and it’s this:
Everyone has their way of serving, and everyone has their way of receiving.
If you want to keep up with the news, you might have your regular habits of keeping up with Breaking News, the New York Times, or the Washington Post. If theological discourse and banter is your thing, you might tune in to Rachel Held Evans or Conversion Diary or Nadia Bolz-Weber. If you’re looking for pastoral voices, you might follow Eugene Cho or Brian Zahnd or Greg Boyd.
There’s no shortage of options for whatever you seek. Everyone has their way of serving, and everyone has their way of receiving.
And what I realized was this:
I need to keep serving in the way that’s uniquely me. And I need to keep the welcome mat rolled out for those who want to receive it.
I have said from the beginning that this space is about honoring the ways we are, all of us, still forming and that it is in the spaces of stillness we allow into our lives that we can perhaps best attend to what’s happening with our formation.
And so the blog is back, and this space will continue to speak to both those things: formation and stillness.
Though I can’t promise this time around that new posts will be written five days a week. :-)