Addendum (2), or: Naming and framing the problem wrongly.

I asked my readers to help me make a decision about how to proceed with my blog: which “personalities” to present. The reason why I presented the decision to the community was because there was something I was really uncomfortable with, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

Several wise comments helped me pin it down: my taxonomy was wrong. In other words, I was naming and framing the problem wrongly. The metric I was using was not appropriate to the situation.

The problem, I realised by the gentle encouragement of friends (who may not have known they were “correcting” me), was that I wasn’t using a Christian definition of “the prophetic” or even of “a prophet.” Though I do agree that prophetic people function the way that Jeff Goins talked about (in the context of branding and perception, at least), people reminded me that the prophetic–or even (if someone is called to it) the office of prophet–is about expressing the heart of God for people. It’s something that you can practice, sure, but it is not separate from who I am as a person. It’s integrated, not plug-and-play.

Since that’s true, said my wise counsellors, it makes the most sense for the teaching (Professor) and poetic stuff (Artist) to be the focus of this blog–they are just “what I do” when I am most myself. If I give what I know to give, God can use whatever s/he wants to meet people. I don’t have to put unusual pressure on myself to specifically “hear the voice of God” or tell the truth for all times and places. (Besides, being a Christian post-modern, I doubt anyone but Jesus can do either perfectly.)

I may experiment soon with a separate blog for short-story and poetry sorts of stuff (an Artist focus), especially because Camp Nanowrimo is coming up in April. To return to Goins’ taxonomy, it seems like this space has been Professor-artist, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I feel much less anxious now, thanks to friends and readers reminding me to stay grounded in what I love to do, and what inspires me.

I am so grateful for your wisdom, beloved community. The peace of Christ be with you all!


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