There’s nothing quite like four days in bed from a lower back injury to cause a person to slow down a bit. At least it has for me.
It’s probably for the best. I’ve had some things that I’ve needed to devote some thought-time toward, and I’ve refused, giving priority to a long list of trivial duties. One of the things I’ve been neglecting is the direction of my philosophical studies and goals.
I’m a writer. For the past number of years, I’ve started and left unfinished more books and articles than I care to remember. I’ve laid each one down in turn, usually because I felt something was amiss. But what that something was I could not find.
One of my friends came to me recently asking if I would be willing to collaborate with him in writing some type of Christian teaching/discipleship material. Of course, I agreed since many of my writings are of that nature anyway. But it caused me to begin thinking about my usual topics, and that feeling of something returned to me. I’ve since been devoting much of my introspection to the task of identifying it in an attempt to finally overcome it. I believe I now understand what it is.
Destruction – Everything I have been writing is of a destructive/negative nature. In a world of ‘individualistic interpretations,’ philosophical ideas are in fierce competition. Everyone has his own idea and promotes it as the way everyone should live. And in the face of that competition, there are two ways to stand above the crowd – to build something that is higher than the rest or to tear down the competition to a lesser level. Since creativity is very difficult, it is mainstream to tear down and undermine other philosophies and beliefs, whether by logical or by fallacious means. I do my best to remain free of fallacy, but even my logic had become consumed in breaking down the belief systems of others. I had become the monster that I was trying to defeat.
Now I find myself hopeful yet still lost in a maze of reason. How can I propose a better belief without showing the inadequacies of other beliefs? And how can I take a stand upon that belief without insulting or offending others whose views are in opposition? And since my ultimate duties are to God, should I be concerned with these things at all?
I know that it’s impossible to take a stand – any stand – without offending and breaking down the beliefs of someone, somewhere. But that must not be my goal. And though my duties are to speak the truth of God, He has given me the sense (and the responsibility) of how best to do it. I long to create rather than to destroy, to offer hope rather than to take it. Sailors bickering and blaming over which one knocked a hole in their sinking ship will all likewise go down with that ship, but the one who rejects what the rest are doing and just finds a plug for the hole will save all. That will be my new goal – to think outside the box, to create a solution.
Yet even now, I find it to be very new territory.