I confess. I am a dabbler, a dilettante, a shameless purloiner of ideas and poetic tidbits of wisdom from a legion of books and writers. At times I feel like a poser. I only finish about half of the books I start, but don’t move any books in my library around, because when I want to read something looking for an idea, I can become violent if my book isn’t where it is supposed to be.
The fact is, life is an unexplored jungle and I feel like a trekker cataloguing parts unknown. I don’t mean to say that I have some kind of idiotic exclusive. I just think the jungle is so vast there is room for billions of fellow trekkers.
Take this morning, for example. I read a juicy quote by Kierkegaard and came within yards of turning my Chevy Suburban into the parking lot of Borders to enjoy a Seattle’s Best Latte and perhaps steal half an hour poring over some Kierkegaardian prose. I’m fairly certain a blog post would have resulted from it.
I do try to focus. I’m not interested in politics or sports (except one sport in particular). I don’t read science much, though I have a romantic fascination with it that goes back to my days in engineering school. Celebrity gossip? I give it 30 seconds of attention every time I am in the checkout line at the store.
I try to narrow my interests and reading to Biblical studies and theology. Philosophy always threatens to worm its way in and calls me siren-like. History, especially ancient history, beckons. Literature and linguistics lure me.
How can a person focus when there is so much fun to be had?
Even now, my decision to specialize in Ezekiel studies is taking root and the reading I have already done is great. Yet at the same time I am doing a weekly podcast on Yeshua’s parables, writing a book on Revelation, and thinking of writing a study guide on Qohelet (Ecclesiastes).
Honestly, my problem in blogging is narrowing down to a subject when everything seems so interesting.
I wouldn’t want to give a false impression of myself as the ever-cheerful explorer able to ignore the oppressive heat and swarming flies of this jungle of discovery called life. Life isn’t an unending succession of enthusiastic explorations. Thankfully there are thousands of other great things, like rolling on the bed with my one and three year olds, tickling and laughing, or the first hug in the morning with my wife (usually lasts about two and half minutes).
Still, I do get bored, like everyone else. I do dread the grim mundane which necessarily faces me day in and day out.
But there is always a turn of Biblical poetry to think about. “How can I say something about this which will capture the interest of a distracted world?” So much to learn. So much to communicate.
I try to keep it simple. Bible and theology (a little philosophy, history, and literature thrown in). Okay, science wants to have a small place too.
Meanwhile, I purloin ideas and poetic lines from a thousand writers. A little Lewis here or Heschel there, a solo grande hazelnut frappuccino with N.T. Wright, breakfast with Scot McKnight, and Ezekiel’s chariot before bed.
Countless questions, limitless discoveries.