Wednesday, July 20, 2016

“For each one of us, there is only one thing necessary: to fulfill our own destiny, according to God's will, to be what God wants us to be.”  ― Thomas Merton

There are lots and lots of bloggers on the internet and most worry about the number of their readers, but not me.  Oh, not that I didn’t at first because, surprisingly, I am human.  Several years ago, I was averaging between three hundred and four hundred readers a day and then that fell off sharply to less than a hundred.  I was crushed.  How could so many people have abandoned my incredible prose and profound sentiments?  I’m pretty sure my sadness and dismay came because I was thinking that if I was the pastor of a church averaging that kind of attendance and then two thirds of them quit coming, that had to be personal.  Happily, I have some very good friends who will tell me the truth and slap me upside the head if need be.  One asked me if my advertising revenue had fallen off as well.  I was outraged.  Of course, there was no advertising revenue—I wasn’t doing this to sell things for other people.  So, my friend asked, what do you care how many are reading your writing?  Why are you doing it?  Oops.  I had forgotten why I started and why I still continue.  I do it because God laid it on heart to do it.  God doesn’t care about how many read it, but He does care about certain individuals and wants them to read it and they can't if I haven't written it.  Maybe a different person every day that God is caring for or maybe it’s once a week for someone else.  I don't know who God is touching with it, but that's not my concern.  I write it because God wants me to write it.  So, in the end, I write it for me and for God.  My readership, therefore, has a baseline of two (God and me) and anything over that is a blessing.  While I am able to check and see hour by hour how many are reading my blog, I don’t do that any more and haven’t for years.  Every now and then I get an email or a comment on Facebook or Google+ that tells me how much an individual blog meant to someone and that's a plus.  Sometimes, I get messages thanking me for the blog and assuring me that it is read the first thing every day.  I really don’t need many of those to keep me going (in truth, I don’t need any, but I do like to get them).  At my advanced age, writing every day, doing research, searching for the perfect quote and picture keeps my mind active and keeps me on my toes.  Besides, I love writing and have done it professionally for years and have written for professors for years as well.  God blessed me with this gift.  I have a Muslim friend who often tells me that if God gives you gifts and you don’t use them to help others, God is not pleased with you.  As long as I can, I will continue to write about matters of spirituality, living as a Christian, life in Tanzania, and whatever else the Holy Spirit leads me to write.  We had a great, if short, visit yesterday with some friends we haven’t seen in thirty-six years.  A woman that Karen taught with for eleven years in the ghetto in Los Angeles came by with her husband.  They took some time out of their safari to drop by even though they had to pay to reenter the National Park.  It was nice to reconnect even if only for a couple of hours.  Karen’s teacher friend also said that she reads the blog from time to time and has kept up with us that way.  Okay God, I get the message—Dory keeps swimming (see picture at the right) and I keep writing.  If you don’t know about the reference to “Dory” see Ellen or ask a ten year old.  Have a great day and remember to be kind.
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