Digging for bedrock

When I was a teenager my Dad worked in the tunnels being constructed to stabilise the mountains around the Clyde dam. It was a strange underground world of darkness, dirt, noise, and water. The work of tunnelling through solid rock was arduous and exhausting.

The reason for all the drilling, digging, and blasting was because the rock is not as solid as it seemed. The mountains in that area are riddled with fault lines, underground water and massive, slowly moving landslides. Placing a gigantic concrete dam smack on top of a fault line meant the mountains had to be stabilised to prevent them cascading down into the newly formed lake.

As humans we like to think our work will last. It is demoralising to work hard on something for it to be demolished by someone who doesn’t care. We order our lives to ensure stability of home and income. Education is an attempt to predict what knowledge is worth gaining that will be of lasting value.

Over recent weeks I’ve been wondering what direction I should take with this blog. Writing blog posts can be a significant investment in time, and running a blog that is not crammed with advertising is a reasonable monetary cost. If I’m to continue writing I’d like it to have purpose and meaning, both for me and the few who read my posts.

I’ve asked God to help me determine what my focus should be, and so far the clearest idea I have is to keep digging into bedrock. The rock is Christ and knowing Him. Encompassing more than just blogging, for the time being I need to single-mindedly pursue Jesus. I’m confident that in doing this, other stuff will slip and slide into their rightful places.

I’m not sure how this will affect my writing, hopefully by making it better. My gut feeling is that I’d like to write about the intersection of life and faith. There are thousands of Christian pastors who write blogs. Yet it is oddly difficult to find blogs written by ordinary Christian men about the challenges of living faithfully for God in the messy details of secular work, marriage, and being a dad. This is where most of us live for most of the time.

Good writing, like any good art, needs to confront the most challenging aspects of life. Whether exploring our pain, anger, or fears, writing won’t ring true if it fails to confront these deeper issues or only offers pat solutions to complex issues. (Ed Cyzewski, How The Examen Empowers Us to Pray and Write)

While I don’t consider myself an artist, confronting the challenging aspects of life is a large part of why I write. I also have a deep dislike for pat answers. Life is messy and complex, trite answers don’t help anyone. This is where blogs can offer something useful with thoughtful posts and discussion in the comments to tease out the knotty intricacies of our real lives.

In the meantime, I have some digging to do. Let me leave you with a reminder that Christ is the rock that even incessant ocean waves cannot erode away.

 


Related posts:

Image 1:Drilling a blast hole with a jackhammer in 1942. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Image 2:Fingal’s Cave, Staffa (Scotland). Courtesy of Gerry Zambonini (flickr)

8 thoughts on “Digging for bedrock

  1. “Yet it is oddly difficult to find blogs written by ordinary Christian men about the challenges of living faithfully for God in the messy details of secular work, marriage, and being a dad.”

    You’re right. There are a lot of mums who write about the intersection of faith and daily life, but not so many dads (who aren’t pastors, I mean). I wonder why that is?

    This sounds like a blog I want to continue reading. 🙂

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    • Hi Chris, Thanks for your vote of confidence!
      I’ve wondered if Christian dads who are not pastors feel a bit intimidated by all the theological wrangling that occurs between a lot of men in the Christian blog space and choose to avoid it altogether. That’s pure speculation but Christian men in particular do seem to get into heated debates over stuff that should not cause such anger and aggro.

      There are some authors and poets who blog and are worth following, but I’d love to hear of more ‘ordinary’ Christian dad blogs.

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      • “I’ve wondered if Christian dads who are not pastors feel a bit intimidated by all the theological wrangling that occurs between a lot of men in the Christian blog space and choose to avoid it altogether.”

        You could be right about that. I must admit, I’ve been intimidated (and disheartened) by it at times. It would be good to read more ordinary men telling stories from the trenches.

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        • Another thing I’ve noticed: women seem to be far more supportive and encouraging of each other on those blogs. That’s another area we need to improve in too!

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          • Yes! It amazes me the contrast between how men who blog treat each other and the mommy bloggers. The women are very supportive and inclusive of other bloggers, whereas us men either try to go it alone or form small tribes that compete with each other.

            I often feel intimidated by the theological aspect of the blog world, to the point of now avoiding writing on primarily theological topics. This may be OK in that I’m not trained in theology, but I do think we can all contribute to encouraging each other in the mundane details of living by faith.

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    • I agree, and am seriously considering how to do this. I’d love to do a co-operative series of posts on the topic of blogging about faith from the perspective of folks who don’t work in a Christian ministry role. Maybe along the lines of a set of questions answered by various bloggers.

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      • Sounds good, Mike! Count me in.

        We just need to find some more ‘ordinary’ guys to participate.

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