the perks of working right by the docks.
the rhythm of work at my current job (which is soon to be part of my past...) has left me a lot of time for the interwebs. oh yes, i take care of my tasks, my little stacks of paperwork, but the bleakness of a 9-5 (or 7-3:30, as it were) is that you must sit in the chair of your cubicle for the forty hours a week, no matter what, even if all the work is done. hence, i found myself searching for ways to pass the time that weren't as incriminating as the blue icon of facebook when co-workers meandered past my cubicle.
so i luckily discovered the tiny corner of the web that is theology bloggers. and, miracle of miracles, all those conversations i started around the table in bob's office, wrestling with scripture and theology as we planned chapel services, were suddenly able to be continued, in a way that involved less eye contact but ever-sincere hearts. when i graduated in 2011, i told chris very specifically that i wanted to continue to explore these questions i had about gender roles, about women in church leadership, about submission and leadership and gifting. something had sparked in me when i took a class at spu called gender issues in communication, and i was hungry for more. i wasn't sure how, but i desperately wanted to keep probing and praying about feminism and how it might fit into the story of God.
then i met rachel held evans and her blog community, and i have not been the same.
through rachel, i began to meet many others who captivated me, people like sarah bessey and jen hatmaker and all the amazing and vulnerable narratives found at deeper story. in addition to feminism, i also began pondering hermeneutics (how and why we choose to interpret Scripture), spiritual abuse, materialism, homosexuality, the church and politics, identity, church health, racial reconciliation, and more. you guys (and i use that phrase in the most gender-neutral manner possible), this stuff is exciting to me. i love discussing personal spiritual journeys. i love the concept of narrative that is so central to postmodern theology. i love thinking about the reasons we change with time. i love thinking critically about assumptions we've made and asking Jesus how to strip away that baggage. i'm working really hard on being better at listening instead of making persuasive speeches about my own particular interpretation of things.
simultaneously, i'm also burned out by the internet. hell hath no fury like a group of christian internet users who disagree with one another. lately, even for the authors whom i hold in the highest regard, i've found myself saying, i just don't think i can read this today. another angry argument about feminists/submission/homosexuality/politics/gun control could be the straw that breaks this sarah-camel's back (and i'm not even addressing those other parts of the internet that make me feel tired, the materialism and comparison games that seem to lurk around every webby corner). i try to listen carefully to the tingly instinctual feelings, notice the physical symptoms that tell me i'm getting overwhelmed or anxious, and keep examining the things i put in my mind so things stay lovely and constructive in there. sometimes in my quest to make the hours pass at work, i end up shoveling in too much information, and my eye begins to twitch (literally) and i just want to lay on the floor and moan about misunderstandings and mean anonymous commenters and fallacies in arguments.
next friday, i will finish up my time at this job, and i will no longer be required to fill a seat for hours every day while using the internet as a crutch to pass the time. HALLELUJAH.
i think i will be taking a little break. blogs have been so good to me, and they have also been stressful or disappointing at times. in this season, when i am trying to decipher where and to whom i am called, i need to cultivate more quiet than usual. one of the strangest and most liberating lessons i have learned in adulthood is that things that once were a good fit don't have to be made to work forever. it's okay to come to a place when you feel ready to move on. i am not moving on from blogs or blogging, mostly because they are a way for me to practice connection with loved ones, but i feel in my gut (where a lot of my decision-making takes place) that the time for a small respite has arrived. if i'm rather quiet in may, i hope you'll understand.