Waiting rooms are everywhere. Hospitals, airports, schools, repair shops… anywhere where an appointment has to be made. In waiting rooms, we sit patiently, or not-so-patiently. We quietly ponder, anticipate, and prepare. Sometimes, we are fully aware of what’s to come once our waiting period is ended. Other times, our expectations are void or shattered. Sometimes, the waiting room prefixes interesting developments. Other times, more often than we’d like, the waiting room is preamble for disaster. We don’t always know what’s to come until we’re out of there.
This has all been an overdrawn metaphor for the weirdness, stress and uncertainty that characterizes my current moment.
I’ve recently, to much excitement, begun a new job in my field of study (engineering), my first since finishing school. What this has meant though is that the last few weeks have been rather busy. I’ve driven hours to get to two interviews. As each interview proved successful, I was also scrambling to find a new apartment, closer to my work. And looking for a new apartment (usually) means more driving to visit places and meet landlords. And since beginning my job, full-time, I’ve found myself tired.
This is a moment of transition. Passage from one critical stage of life to another. I don’t want to overspiritualize or get analytical, but all of this has had a direct impact on how I manage blogging, writing, thinking, praying, church-going, tweeting, and general interaction with the world. Let’s just say, it hasn’t been pretty.
I’m not sure if this has been noticed by others, my readers, but I’ve certainly felt my motivation dip and my content get thinner over the last couple of months. Maybe that sounds excessively self-critical and even proud, considering that my blog is not very old or established.
Let’s be real, getting “established” was never really my goal to begin with. Mostly because I have a hard time seeing myself, as a writer or a thinker, as someone being worth following or keeping up with. I’ll be honest, I don’t consider myself an awesome writer or brilliant by any measure. My honest confession is that I do struggle immensely with pride, in all sorts of ways. Boasting. Self-deprecation. Conceitedness. I’ve always struggled and perhaps I always will.
When I began this project, I saw an issue with the world–the depravity of mainstream bioethics and the progressive liberal worldview contra the consistent life-protecting ethic of Biblical scripture–and I wanted to lend a voice, with no expectation other than maybe that one person in the world will read the message that I have to share and be challenged. I don’t want this project to be about me. I want it to be about the glory of Jesus Christ, the hope of a life without the pains caused by abortion and assisted dying, and the logicality behind my most fundamental convictions, religious and moral.
My constant output of energy over last few days and weeks, however, has not been counterbalanced with a steady input. What do I mean by input?
By input, I don’t mean ideas.
I don’t have a shortage of ideas. I actually have a surplus of ideas. And since having proposed a format to myself (which I began loosely following last month), I’ve been able to better regulate my posting so that I always have something in the hopper.
What I have is a shortage of spiritual nourishment and encouragement. As exciting as this new job is, it is not a source of spiritual joy, in itself. Maybe it should be, I don’t know. The point is, I’m not really being consistent with my meditation, study and prayer-life. This happens cyclically as I’m not particularly disciplined but the effects of my complacency really hit hard when I’m stretched thin by circumstances.
I feel this dryness, or sluggishness, overtaking me, making it harder to write about the ideas that I’ve had saved on my computer, to write about the things I’m normally interested in. Twitter has been, in a way, an effective outlet though certainly not a substitute. It allows me to post my thoughts quickly, in brief, on the spot. Obviously.
Certain aspects of my identity and character, moreover, I’ve felt tested recently. I don’t feel comfortable or secure enough to explain here. A lot of it has to do with personal issues in my family and other things. And these testings have been precipitated through the reality of my transition from a student living away from home to an adult professional in his own abode. It also has to do with long-held fears of rejection, abandonment and inadequacy.
In summary, not only am I fighting for motivation, I am also afraid.
I realize that this post is more personal than what I normally share on this blog. If you’re still reading, you might be anticipating some conclusions, applications or insights.
I’m partly writing this because I’ve realized that as a content-creator, it’s never fun to do/make stuff when you really don’t want to, or to write about something when you don’t want to write about it. So, I decided to write about what was on my mind. That said, I’m by no means quitting this blog or turning a shoulder to those who read me. This is still what I want to do. And I value the connections I’ve built already through the writing process.
I need to remind myself of the basic things:
(A) Jesus is my most fundamental identity (1 Corinthians 3:11, Psalm 18:2, Psalm 62:2, Psalm 27:1) — he defines me, rules me, and decides my purpose… I do not.
(B) God’s desire is that I pursue holiness. Not being “good” or “brilliant”. Reason and ethics are means, not ends.
(C) If my words and actions don’t ultimately point to Jesus, they are worthless. “He must become greater; I must become less.” (John 3:30)
(D) Worship isn’t constrained to Sunday mornings and devotionals. It’s kind of an every-part-of-your-life thing.
(E) I stumble and fail, but God is faithful and his grace abounds (John 6:37, Phil. 1:16).
(F) Even if I lose my sense of purpose (or motivation), this will not destroy the message or bring an end to the movement. I am not that important.
Anyways, I wanted to just update people as to where I’m at in life so that if people are noticing any differences (maybe it’s all good and I’m just getting worked up over nothing) then there’s a reason for it. I also wanted to say that there are no changes to my plan.
Transitioning isn’t easy and I’m sure everyone knows something about this. It’s often a long process where one worries about wasting time and not knowing what to do, where to go, whether one is doing the right thing. Waiting for things to happen is often the worst part. In the end, though, it’s all worth it.
Thanks for hearing me out!
Photo: Zurich Airport Non-Schengen Waiting Area, retrieved from Wikimedia Commons.