I have this list of things I wanna blog about; it’s pretty long really. It’s got at least 7-10 things on my mind about life, the church, faith, how much I hate the “millennial conversation,” leadership and how much I think pastors suck at it, and the upcoming wrestling season, of course.
But when I sit down to write, the words just aren’t there.
The ideas and words are there in my head – they’re edgy, brutally honest, thought-provoking, insightful, profound. They really are. In fact, it feels like they’re already written; I just have to type them out. That’s when the problem starts. I start to type, and…..nothing. Or at least, two or three rambling sentences that make no damn sense. So I hit delete, close the laptop, and start playing a game on my iPhone.
It’s frustrating as a pastor, to not be able to write. To feel like you have nothing to say. Honestly, it’s hard enough just to crank out a sermon for each week. I think to myself, “I just have nothing to say….what the hell is the point?” I’ve always had this hate-hate relationship with preaching. I remember in my first preaching class and on internship, there would be sleepless nights I stare at a blank screen, freaking out, needing to crank out a sermon for class or worship that next day. I had plenty of thoughts, but when it came time to put them down…..nothing. Zilch. I swear, if writing was a wrestling opponent, it’d be that skinny kid who looked weak and clumsy, but would be kicking my ass about 30 seconds into the start of the match. Frustrating as hell.
And as I sit here right now – typing words ironically – the words aren’t there. Yet I still want to be profound, smart, useful, prophetic – especially when I read a lot of the crap out there. Those “popular” people out there who write all these seemingly smart, insightful things that honestly are full of clichés, polarizing and unhelpful generalities, and sensational half-truths that just perpetuate what pisses me off about religion, faith, society, and politics in this world today.
Yet I have nothing to say. I can’t seem to write a single word down…one that matters. One that will make people sit up and take notice.
Maybe it’s the fact I’m so drained….four funerals in the past four weeks. Struggling along with the two congregations I serve as they try to decide what the future holds, and not having the luxury of “taking their time” deciding it. Planning worship and providing time to observe communal rituals and traditions so that people can heal from the loss of loved ones this past year. Praying and reading scripture in a room with a 94-year old woman who is obviously dead in every way except that her brain is still sending a signal for her lungs to breathe…..but doing so because the mystery of what happens in that intersection of life and death draws me in. Sitting with young men who are fighting internal battles that I’ve fought years before….all while fighting through the grind of yet another wrestling season beginning.
And trying to figure out just why the hell I’m here in this particular place, doing what I’m doing….while trying to remain fully present and committed to the people I feel called to serve and care for.
I just went back and read what I typed. I still feel like I have nothing to say. But maybe that’s ok…..because it isn’t about me. It’s not about how profound or provocative or insightful or cutting-edge my words are, and that people see them as such. Perhaps the only word that matters is the Word that dwells in and among us when we struggle through life unnoticed, seemingly insignificant and trivial, but do so together, fully present and committed to one another.
The Word that acts and speaks…….when I have nothing to say.