Late to the game as usual

In the course of my life, I haven’t always been the quickest in picking up trends. I was still hooked on And 1 basketball long after Iverson and Francis lost relevance in the NBA, and I was still listening to Biggie Smalls when Mr. West was all over FM radio. The latter might be that better music outweighs current trends, but that may be subject to one’s opinion. Whatever the case, I’ve been relatively late in grabbing a hold of and hooking myself onto new movements. This might be due to a lack of desire to change, a state of ignorance of the “what’s new,” or an innate skepticism that pushes away anything that looks, tastes, or sounds different. To me, my current desire for blogging seems to fit right along this personal idea of perpetually being late to the game. I’ve known about blogging, and I’ve religiously read others’ blogs whether it comes to theology, coffee, fashion, or newsworthy issues. Yet, I’ve never come to set my own blogging to be something to take a hold of my interests. To be blatantly honest, I’ve never really blogged mostly out of fear of a lack of return in my investment. Selfish, I know, but time (along with one’s self-esteem) is money. In addition to my fear of “wasted” efforts and lowered self-esteem, I’ve been skeptical of the idea of pastors blogging. As my own worst enemy, I’ve always questioned whether or not my intentions would be largely self-centered. While studying as a seminary student and serving as an intern pastor, I’ve had desires to blog but wasn’t sure for the aforementioned reason. To blog or not to blog? This back and forth dilemma that resembled a Rafael Nadal rally in the French Open resulted in a very non-climactic unforced error. The conclusion to this dilemma was simple: Why not? Sure, self-centered desires will flood my heart, but why not give it a shot? My inner film archive recalls a moment when the late Robin Williams speaks to Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting about why Damon’s character never gives a serious relationship a shot.

I think that’s a super philosophy, Will; that way you can go through your entire life without ever having to really know anybody…

Maybe this is a bit dramatic considering that I’m comparing my conflicting desires to commit to blogging with one’s conflicting desire to invest in a soulmate for the rest of his life. Yet, the way I see it is that anything you’re willing to give enough time to is a relationship. I guess we’ll see how this new relationship I have with blogging will unfold over time.

So why now? Well, new beginnings call for new mindsets in new situations. You might see by the title of my website that I’m mostly interested in something related to God. If that’s your guess, it’s a pretty good one. As the saying goes, I believe that with body and soul, both in life and death, I am not my own but belong to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ who saves me from my wretchedness and preserves me to live for his glory. In spite of my wretchedness, my hope, indeed, is that I would live my life to glorify the name of Christ and to witness my progressive steps to mirror his. This weighty, weighty contemplation took a firm grip on my heart, especially when I received a call to serve as an assistant pastor in the last semester of my seminary education at Westminster Seminary California. One particular Friday this past March, Kevin, the praise leader for the college group I served in San Diego, lead us to sing a famous song May the Words of My Mouth from Psalm 19.

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you, be pleasing to you…

I’m not sure if he knew standing up there singing, but the way that Kevin lead us to sing that song together particularly broke me on that Friday. Ministry is a scary thing, and without a prayerful mindset that depends upon the Almighty, there isn’t much I can offer any church that needs shepherds to shepherd God’s flock. That night, that was my prayer–that the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart would be pleasing to my God in service to his church he has called me to serve. Well, here I am at Jubilee Presbyterian Church. I truly hope to be a blessing and keep my eyes fixated upon beauty of the gospel message that points me furthermore to the beauty of my Lord and Savior. To those at Jubilee, I particularly thank you in advance for bearing with my inadequacies and mistakes. My hope is that even through my practice of blogging, the Lord will equip me to serve you better. I’ll try to give you everything I have to give.

With all that said, there are many perks to blogging.

  1. We’re in a digital age. A seven minute Youtube clip might eliminate the need for a hundred page instruction manual. Practically speaking, this is a great way to get a hold of people in an increasingly illiterate society. Ironic huh, trying to write to those who don’t like to read so that they would read what I write? Still, I hope this would serve as a means to pour some kind of truth (insufficient as my content might be) into the salad bowl called America where secularism and individualism sit as kings.
  2. Writing is a great practice. I hope that writing makes me read more voraciously and speak more carefully. As a pastor, one should never lose a desire to learn more from the Word and from others who share a mutual desire to learn from the Word. It’s also a great practice to think out what to say before unnecessarily hurting others or creating awkward situations.
  3. Blogging gives me a place to store my thoughts. While moving out of San Diego, I came across Moleskine after Moleskine where I recorded prayers and thoughts throughout my years in San Diego. Due to the excess of things we already had to move for our cross-country move from Cali to Philly, those thoughts were placed in the recycle bin. However, my memory seems to function more like a trash can than a recycle bin, rarely being able to recall passing thoughts that might be of use in the future. Blogging is efficient in storing these thoughts without taking up physical space.
  4. I can write specifically to my church and to the general audience. Sure, there are plenty of other means to do just that. Yet, there’s something about public blogging that makes me want to engage with those I know personally but be conversational with those I’ve never met before. Sounds a lot like contextual preaching, right? I do hope this practice will make me a better preacher to a wider audience and a better conversation partner to those I meet for the first time.

All in all, I’m excited for this new journey. Many have hopped on this ship already, but I’m glad that I’m finally getting a helping hand on board. Late to the game as usual, but it’s better now than never.

To God alone be the glory.

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Late to the game as usual

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