Adding to the Noise (or, Why On Earth Would You Listen to Me?)

A Season for Silence

For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven… a time to be silent and a time to speak.

–Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7b

I’m not sure why I’m here. That is to say, I have started blogging before. Inevitably, I find myself feeling like I was just adding to the noise. That’s a phrase from an old song Switchfoot song: “If we’re adding to the noise/ turn off this song.” I kind of appreciate the honesty of that song, because it is essentially asking you not to listen to it if it isn’t serving a purpose. Truthfully, my past blogging efforts felt relatively meaningless. At the time, I was barely out of college, had barely started my life as an adult. I was finding my way, so why on Earth should anyone put any weight behind my thoughts or opinions about much of anything? On whose authority could I broadcast my thoughts or beliefs or opinions to the wider world, as though I knew something about anything?

This was an especially acute feeling when it came to matters of faith. To be blunt, I’ve lived a pretty cushy life as the child of well-off parents in a very wealthy country at a very privileged time in world history. What challenges have really confronted my faith? I mean, really tough matters that really forced me into the uncomfortable position where my faith might actually be in jeopardy if the challenge was not met? Anything I gave to answer that question rhetorically seemed laughable by comparison to the real-life struggles of lots of people. What possible comfort or guidance or Christ-inspired wisdom could I offer when I was working from such a position of youth and inexperience?

Of course, the New Testament does offer a possible answer to this…

Let no one look down on you because of your youth…

–1 Timothy 4:12

That is Biblical. However, when it comes to my attitude toward myself, I tend to be my worst critic. It’s easier for me to apply that teaching to others than myself, to undervalue my own contributions. Putting all of these disparate pieces together created a season of my life where I occasionally blogged, particularly about my faith because of its importance to me, but inevitably my blogging ran dry. This was usually either a feeling that I had nothing worth saying, a despair that no one was listening even when I did speak… or a fear that someone was.

A Season to Speak

In spite of all of those personal doubts, which persist and likely always will, I have felt the winds shifting lately. The season for silence seems to be coming to a close, and for reasons I cannot really describe or even pin down myself, it feels like now is the time to begin again. But there will be some differences.

For right now, I am not going to try to enforce any schedule upon myself. I will blog when I feel the desire to. My rough goal is to have something to publish every few weeks, but that’s a very soft schedule. This is literally just a trial run for now, to see if this is something I want to do, how much investment it will require from me, and whether there is an audience for my ramblings.

Secondly, as if running a single blog isn’t enough, I’m launching two others. Yes, seriously. One blog – which I just posted to yesterday – is going to be a geek-centric blog where I write about movies, television, and various other things. (For instance, my first blog post describes my frustrations with a popular first-person shooter game.) A second as-yet unfinished new blog will cover issues of culture, politics, the news, and other things that are disagreeable, especially now. My general hope is that I will always have something to say for at least one of these blogs, but it will also allow people to engage with one side of my ramblings without having to dig through things that they might be less interested in.

So I guess the only thing left to say is…