When you pursue a career in writing, there are a list of things you must do in order to really succeed. So many things to juggle and focus on. And if you forget them, or drop the ball too often, you are pretty much sacrificing any chance of real success.
Yes, there are people who have their book miraculously read by just the right person and end up exploding on the scene overnight. Freak connections take place and some people just make it, regardless of how much talent they have or effort they put in. But, for most of us, succeeding in this business requires that we develop a very detailed plan of attack, and that we stick to it meticulously.
There are blogs to write, ads to manage, videos to make. And it isn't just producing the material! You also have to know exactly what your target audience wants to read and see and hear, and then produce exactly that!
It. Is. Exhausting.
It's a constant juggle. One I am rather good at, if I do say so myself. But here's the thing. I don't have time for it anymore.
Over the last few years, as many of you know, I have been challenged by God to really chase a more raw and authentic relationship with him. In addition to a more passionate prayer life and more intentional study, it has also resulted in me walking away from conventional christian assembly (e.g. the institutional church) and embracing a more organic assembly (e.g. a house church).
That experience has been nothing short of life-changing. Don't get me wrong. Nothing is perfect, and there are areas of life and spirituality and church that I am growing in daily. I won't claim any kind of expertise. I'm still figuring everything out. But in spite of that, the freedom I have experienced to know God without any of the hype or nonsense that often comes with institutional worship has shifted everything that I think about life. Everything that I think about God.
If someone would have come to me four years ago and told me what I would be today - what I would be teaching today - I would have openly rebuked them. But now that i'm here, I don't understand how I didn't get here sooner. In just a few years, despite having lost almost all of my friends and the respect I worked for near a decade to cultivate, I have managed to finally meet a Jesus that isn't wrapped up in anyone's agenda or pressed down into a neat little theological box that can keep everyone comfortable and happy.
Freedom means everything to me.
And yet, when it comes to my career, I found myself playing the game.
While fighting passionately for raw and authentic Christianity, I was simultaneously believing that how I introduced my understanding on the subject required respecting the game that has been built up around the art of writing.
Don't get me wrong, I have never been one to edit myself. I say what I have found to be true, and if someone doesn't like it, well... love ya, but imma say it again if you stand there long enough. I don't believe in censuring what the Word of God says. But I found myself wondering things like, "what would attract the attention of my target audience" and "how can I write this thought in a way that will get the right kind of attention."
And you know what... that's not who I am. I can't play the game. Even if I want to play the game, I am not interested in the game. I refuse to be someone who centers their words and activities around the principles of supply-and-demand. And you know what... I don't have to. Because the thing that Jesus built is enough.
I believe with everything that I am that this generation is hungry for real. I believe we have reached a moment in history where the body of Jesus is desperately crying out for something deeper than we have been given by our parents. Everywhere that you look, people are running around like chickens with their heads cut off, embracing heresy and apostasy and all different shades of no thank you because they are so hungry for something real. And you know what, I don't blame them.
There is something deeper, and I don't know about you, but I won't settle for anything less than everything Jesus died to give me. Which is why I don't have time for games. I don't have time to wonder what you will think if I say it how it is. I don't have time to break things to you gently or to worry about what kind of response my thoughts will inspire.
Raw. Authentic... that is where truth is found. I refuse to chase anything else. And you know what, I refuse to give you anything else.
So if I take too long in between blogs. Too bad. If my thoughts are not cushioned enough for you. Too bad. If you don't like the way my voice sounds when I talk. Too bad.
This is who I am. Real.