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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Blogging into The Quiet Abyss…

“However, take care and be earnestly on your guard not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen, nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live, but teach them to your children and to your children's children.” (Deuteronomy 4:9, NAB)

The journey towards Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, can be long and winding for many, not to mention forgetful, at times as we go about daily attending to various tasks.  My thoughts, so many of them, seem to be shifting focus from one end to the other…as I too struggle to calm myself...prepare myself for a meaningful holy season. 

One particular article caught my eye…Blogging on the decline among the younger generation, it reads.  Previously, it was the death of bookshops as reading was said to be on the decline; actually reading from a 'real' physical book!  

The new generation 'types' or 'copy & paste' more than they write and 'scrolls' or 'google' more than they visit a real library, 'saves' instead of file.

Traditional folks like me still prefer the old rustic bookshop, flipping through the pages and jotting down my thoughts in a notebook.

Being amongst the crowd of book lovers, yet feeling simply alone with the bound book in your hands...reading into the thoughts of someone...sharing in the journey of others. 

I still love reading spiritual books and writing...although in many ways, 'surfing' (on the web, that is) does enhance my love of the former two.

To my surprise, I never lost the ability to write. In fact, writing became part of my struggle for survival. It gave me the little distance from myself that I needed to keep from drowning in my despair.”
-Henri Nouwen

Many young people have also shy away from blogging or web logging, migrating towards online expressive social networks like Facebook and Twitter; making many new instant ‘friends’ and being ‘liked’ many, many times over, instant messaging, online games and virtual world.

While technology is not exactly bad, the world we journey in today is drowned with data, chronicles of information and gadgets that supports us to keep up with everything on the super e-highway.

I hear from many youths who boast that they have hundreds and thousands of ‘friends’ or 'followers' connected to their Facebook account.  What does this mean?  Popularity?  Boost to the ego?  Growing up has never been the same in this modern day and age…

Like it or not, youths of today all ‘live’ in a world of instant gratification – fast food, instant microwave meals, YouTubes, iPhone downloads, instant ‘friends’, followers, cyber-pals, etc, etc.

Who wants to put deep old-fashioned thoughts into each and every blog post when it is not even certain that anyone ‘out there’ is listening or ‘following’; blogging into the abyss sounds quite daunting to many these days.  Blogging seem to be dying a slow and natural death as the world progresses.

Why then do people like me still choose to blog?  For one, I am long-winded with words and blogging suits me fine to express my thoughts.  I am sure everyone has their own personal reasons.

Blogging or cyber-journaling, as I would term it, pens my own simple journey towards God…at a point of my life when there’s just too many things going on around me and I am trying to stay spiritually sane.  Another more noble reason could be to leave a legacy behind for those who know me, perhaps my children.

Blogging an online spiritual journal allows me to be real with myself and to also share the hidden treasures of my heart with others.  Thus far, my journaling has been quite a self discovery for me.  I find that I enter into this quiet and calm meditative state of serenity with God, listening, revealing my thoughts to Him, although He already knows it all before it even reaches my lips, in this case, my fingers hitting the keyboard!

“O LORD, you have probed me,
you know me:
you know when I sit and stand;
you understand my thoughts from afar.
My travels and my rest you mark;
with all my ways you are familiar.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
LORD, you know it all.” (Psalm 139:1-4, NAB)

Before the blogging days, my experiences would often breeze through without me taking even a glimpse of my thoughts, reactions, insights and feelings…my soul…not bothered in remembering what God has done in my life or the blessings showered upon me and my family…more pre-occupied with the doing, chasing, reacting, achieving, directing, working…

This blog has helped me to be more aware of my own spiritual journey and disciplined me to savor simple thoughts within my heart as they quietly pass by.  It has prompt me to pay more attention to God, see with new eyes what God has been doing, touch God in the gentle breeze and see how God has blessed me in my life.

...but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence

When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.

Then there came a voice to him that said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”  (1 Kings 19: 11-13, NRSV)

Today, SimplyQuiet, a relatively young blog journal, acts like a mirror, reflecting my own life journey back to me, my weaknesses, my imperfections - providing me with a place to explore, learn more of God, a good sounding board for me to learn and deepen my own spiritual life, to sustain me in seeking God under all circumstances…more importantly, I hope, shed some light to brighten up others’ path...

Journaling on the blogosphere also allows me to be more descriptive in landscaping my own journey so that many others who walk the same path may know, may recognize…that our life’s journey have much in common and through this avenue of simple sharing…others may walk this path a little easier, less burdened, knowing that there are others who have already passed by.

Scripture discloses a God who, even when rejected and abandoned, still keeps believing in human beings, loving them to the end and doing all in His power to awaken their trust.

I pray that this humble journal, SimplyQuiet, can also play a small part where God can invite you personally to trust in His love, to place your confidence in Him and to follow Him into a communion that will have no end.Lent is a time for self discovery, discovering God within all our imperfections and sharing and journeying towards God...seeing and finding God in everything.

Under a leaf, in a snowflake
In a blade of grass, in a raindrop
All parts of nature
In your parents’ loving embrace
In the phone call from your grandparents
All family relationships
In working and sharing with others
In helping the unfortunate
All volunteering jobs
Where are you able to find God?
Lord, help me to find you in all ways and walks of life.

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