I exhaled as I hit “publish”. My first blog was sent hurtling through the odd and infinite fibers of the internet for anyone to read. Hopefully someone would like it. Gosh, I’d be happy if they just read it. I remember walking to dinner after plastering my thoughts on Facebook and receiving notifications that people were liking it. Wow! This is pretty neat. People actually like my thoughts! Pretty soon I was looking at my blog stats every 10 minutes. I was devouring the attention. Hey I earned it, right? Those are my thoughts out there. I’m pretty much a writer.
The pride of being a “blogger” had set in pretty quickly. People thought that what I had to say was pretty cool so in order to maintain my “image” I had to come up with more. I had to keep writing in order to satisfy my devoted fans (sarcasm intended). I had to keep writing to satisfy my insatiable desire to be thought of as “original” and “sophisticated”. I had to keep writing… I guess that is what pride does to us. It puffs us up into believing we are something more than we actually are and then it leaves us hanging dry, desperately trying to keep the broken pieces of our life together. My original intent for my blog was to simply let people know some sweet stuff that God was teaching me but pride surprises and consumes…fast. And man, was it ever fast.
“…let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” – Hebrews 12:28-29
In essence, writing this blog was meant to be a form of worship. God had taught me some things that I thought were awesome and I wanted others to be able to experience them in their own lives. But like I said before, pride puffs us up into believing we are something more than we actually are. I thought that I was the writer. I thought that my ideas were pretty awesome. I liked the attention that I was getting. This is not the picture of reverence and awe. No, my back was to the fire.
When we, as Christians, talk about fire we are usually referring to passion and boldness and Pentecost. It is very much about ourselves being empowered. But in Hebrews “fire” seems to hold a very different meaning. It feels very serious, maybe even wild and something that instills a sense of holy fear (or “reverence”). I think of looking at a massive, dark storm in the distance or being underneath the surface of the water in the middle of the ocean. You’re not really in danger but there is a sense of being overtaken, of respect for the great vastness, power, and depth of what is around you. You feel small and powerless. You act differently; treading lightly as a sense of caution fills you. In Hebrews 10 the writer even says, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God”. Yes, God our father loves us, Jesus died for us, and the Holy Spirit empowers us. But this does not mean that we lose our “holy fear” and awe of who he is. I think it is this attitude that best combats our pride. If we are overtaken by awe of the astronomic yet intimate nature of God then we have no time to look at blog stats, or the mirror, or others’ acceptance, or whatever we are desperately trying to uphold on our own.
So I would like to apologize to those who read what I have to say. Yes, I used you to prop up some rickety and selfish image that I thought was satisfying. I thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement. They really do mean so much to me. But thankfully our God is a consuming fire, burning the scales off of our eyes so we can be in brilliant awe of who really deserves our attention.