I think that, in some ways at least, blogging brings out the worst in people. Especially when dealing with controversial issues – and those are the most fun, so they’ll come up a lot.
In the near future, I’ll be taking a different tack with this blog for a little while. I’ll still post whatever comes to mind that I feel like posting, but I’m going to start posting prayers that I’ve been writing for worship services at my internship site. My supervisor has asked for me to type them up (I write them in the service itself, Allen Gisnberg style– ‘first thought, best thought’) so that I can leave them with the church when I move on. That way, they’ll have a collection of pastoral prayers that they can use when someone is leading the prayer but isn’t sure what to write or say.
It’ll be nice to take a break from the didactic slant I’ve had for a while now, and may very well significantly diminish my readership. That’s ok, considering that the original intent was for this blog to be for me to organize my thoughts outwardly. I’m glad that its moved beyond that, but its a little tiring sometimes to feel like I always have to be arguing and defending myself. And who knows? Maybe people will like the prayers I write. Some who hear them seem to, at least.
On an interesting tangent; I’m not actually very good at prayer. I’m not very regular about it, and I often don’t feel like much is happening when I do it. I often feel very awkward and a little contrived when I make the attempt. (I’m sure there are some who might read this who will conclude that this is because I am a heretic and I hate God or something. I mean, when progressives pray, God can’t possibly be listening, right? But I’ll keep functioning under the assumption that God does for now.) <– [Dumb joke]
One exception to this is generally in a worship service, when I really feel like praying is very meaningful. Maybe its the communal atmosphere, the shared silence, the participatory aspects of it (the way we do it at least). A professor of mine called this conspiracy, or “breathing together”. I like conspiracy. It’s good to breathe together. I leave a lot of silence around the prayers, and people have responded positively to that. I think that our lives are so filled with noise and blah blah blah that we should maybe take a break from that when we’re praying.
The other exception is in times of desperation. Panic, fear, remorse, despair, and various other moments of breakdown. Like a panicked child hiding under a mother’s apron. Not very dignified at all, but I’ll make another assumption for now – God doesn’t mind.