A new step on the Long Road

It’s been almost 18 months since this blog has seen anything new. In that time, I’ve thought several times about how to move forward with it, buying the domain name, how I can increase traffic, what I could post to get new content twice weekly, how to narrow my focus so there is some cohesiveness to all of this, how to manage social media, how to make the blog easier for me to manage, etc. I was thinking consumeristically. How can I make The Long Road to Zion an asset that generates an income? Ahhh, that very statement reveals in itself how I have lost my way.

Do I have something to say? Maybe. I’m kind of a scattered dude. Stuck in my own head and tangled when I open my mouth. I do like writing, though, and this gives me the opportunity for that. There are things I wonder about, and maybe if I’m wondering about them out loud, someone else is wondering about them, too? Things strike me as interesting.

One of those things has been social media, specifically Facebook. A few months ago, I left because I was so distracted by it. Then I grew proud that *I* wasn’t using it, so am I nullifying any benefit being away had? I’d also increased my isolation. As I reactivated my account again for the who knows how many-eth time and began to post, I noticed circles of friends.

It’s interesting, but somehow frustratingly compartmentalizing (and maybe even self-focused?), how I can kind of guess who may like what. Family posts get their set of likes, outdoor posts get their set of likes, geeky game and comic posts get their set of likes, theological posts get their set of likes, and so on. I’d love to see those circles blending into each other. This could be where the self-focus comes in but, all of those topics are from the same person. I don’t want to show one side to one group and another side to another group. It’s all me.

A few years ago, I was given the advice to write about what I love. Sometimes I’ve written propaganda on here. Go ahead and look back through the posts, you’ll figure it out. The last few I wrote on Seek the Kingdom turned to curiosity and wondering. I don’t want to try to get you to do something. I don’t have it all figured out. Some things I do believe make sense as they’ve remained solid in the midst of my shakiness. What I want to say if you’ve felt that manipulative propaganda from this blog or me in person, I’m sorry. You are a person, made in the image of God, and deserve better than a blog post to try to move you from one point to another.

What does all of this have to do with this blog? Where I want to go with The Long Road to Zion, going forward.

1. Relationships. This is what the circles taught me. If you’re reading this, it’s because you’re in my family, my church, my work, my hobbies, or the places I frequent. I doubt that this blog will reach past those narrow lanes of local traffic, however, it’s in those lanes that my life is in. If that’s you, I want to make The Long Road to Zion a place of hospitality that invites you in. Not in to agree on all things, but in to relate. Maybe our circles can start overlapping some more for the sake of the community we find ourselves in. Maybe this can be a tool that helps us love and understand and empathize with each other better. That would be awesome if that fruit came from this.

2. Space to figure stuff out. As I alluded to earlier, articulation is not my strength when I’m talking to you face to face. It seems like one thing I do is to set up straw men and end up trying to figure out things that aren’t really what’s bothering me in the first place. I don’t even have myself figured out, let alone those people close and closer to me. Binary thinking is a topic of conversation these days, and already being prone to an all-or-nothing way of thinking myself, I want to push back on that. I want to see if I can look at things and see them in a different way. Not an untrue way, but from an angle I haven’t seen them before. With every circle comes its own culture that can give us tunnel vision. In the Bible, Jesus sums up the greatest commandments as, “Love God, love your neighbor.” How can I do either of those if my eyes are only focused inward to what I know and am comfortable with?

3. A move to WordPress. Perhaps the most boring of all. As Google removed mobile support for Blogger, I found their desktop site on mobile to be difficult to manage. I don’t like loading up my laptop for much more than loading up my iPod. Trying to save all my “great” content from old site to this new site has not been functionally the smoothest. As I’m caring less about what I can preserve or how I can streamline it to a cash flow, but still need to technical support of an app so I can have my blogging preferences met, I’ve set up a redirect from the blogspot address to this WordPress address

I hope as I use The Long Road to Zion to capture some of the progress of a pilgrim, that you will continue to walk with me, and that God will crack open some of what’s eternal and bring it into what is present and common.

—-

A few words of thanks to those who in my circles have inspired me to be creative. Jenny, my wife, your faithfulness to love me at my worst is the clearest reflection of the Gospel I have. In addition, one way you love me is by always supporting the ideas I have, even if I never get them off the ground. You are an encourager. Jason and Justin from work, you guys have encouraged me to write. Matt, Ryan, Stan, Nathan, Paul, and Steve from church, y’all have walked the long road with me as I’ve walked and stumbled and fallen. Jack at The Cardboard Herald, you’ve celebrated creativity and inspired me to feed that. The staff at Borderlands Comics & Games, y’all have shown me how to not be so stuffy as an adult, but helped rekindle my love of art and story.

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One thought on “A new step on the Long Road

  1. Great article, Josh. I don’t know about talking to you in person, but you are gifted with words; maintaining focus and clarity. I’m really interested to see what’s on the horizon for this blog, and I wish more people were as open to exploring their faith and understanding through discussion and contemplation as you are setting out here. Also, thanks for the shoutout at the end, it means a lot!

    Like

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