[This is the first post, published September 10, 2012.]
“Since everything is a risk, you might as well take a risk on what you love.”
(The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, episode 40.)
My name is Tim, and I suffer from risk aversion. You’ll never see me going out on a limb, jumping in with both feet, or going all in at the poker table. In fact, you probably won’t see me at a poker table at all because, like I said, I’m risk averse.
I’ve been writing guest articles for other people’s blogs for several months. It’s not that I’m in high demand; I write stuff and then send an email to a blog I regularly comment on and ask if they’d like to run a guest piece. There are some generous people out there who say yes, giving me a shot. I have always been grateful, hopeful too: hopeful that I have not driven down the property values of those who let me move in for a post or two.
It’s not a bad deal. I thump on the keyboard and hit send; they read it and hit post. Wouldn’t it be nice to continue this interwebz version of couch surfing, showing up at other folk’s places and letting them do the heavy lifting of running the household? After all, there’s some truth to the tag line I put in all those articles: “Tim guest posts on other peoples’ blogs, but is too lazy to get a blog of his own.”
Plus, running your own blog is risky. I’ve read blog comment sections; sure they can be great spots for conversation (“Ontological comparisons aside, your telos is compelling”), but they can also get downright mean. (“Hey blogger! Your mother dresses you funny!”) Do I want to open myself up to that? Again, why not let someone else do the heavy lifting?
Changes are happening with me in ministry, though, and I’m transitioning out of a weekly writing/teaching ministry I’ve been involved in for years. As it winds down, my wife asked what I might do next. Then she pointed out that I’ve been writing on a lot of blogs.
This blog is my wife’s fault. It’s not her fault because she suggested I blog. It’s her fault because she married me.
You see, because she married me I am a married person. (You can expect meaningful insights like this regularly from me.) That also means I’m able to attend marriage conferences without feeling weird.
We attended a marriage conference last year. One session focused on how husbands and wives can support one another in their plans and dreams. The text was from 1 Samuel 14, and you’re probably already wondering which biblical marriage relationship is found in that passage. None; bonus points to you if you already knew that. (This blog will irregularly award bonus points. They will be in the form of interwebz, a worthless currency that is redeemable in no store I know of. But if awarded they become the sole property of the recipient. Yay for you. Now let’s get back to my point.)
One day Jonathan son of Saul said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side.” But he did not tell his father.
Saul was staying on the outskirts of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree in Migron. With him were about six hundred men …. No one was aware that Jonathan had left.
On each side of the pass that Jonathan intended to cross to reach the Philistine outpost was a cliff ….
Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few.”
“Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.” (1 Samuel 14:1-7.)
There were no guarantees. Jonathan didn’t know what would happen. The most he could say was “Perhaps the Lord will act.” The unspoken part of that is, “And perhaps he will choose not to.”
His armor bearer went all in: “Go ahead; I am with you.” The unspoken part: “And I may die with you.”
They took a risk, out there all by themselves.
I think bloggers take risks too, out there all by themselves (even if they are not storming an enemy army’s outpost). But we’re never all by ourselves, are we? God is always with us, and he often puts others at our side.
Jonathan had his armor bearer; my wife and I have each other; bloggers have… well … other bloggers I suppose.
And I’ve got God. Perhaps he will act on my behalf, perhaps not. But this I know and take no risk in saying: Nothing can hinder the Lord.
Welcome to my blog.