In addition to the usual addictions (coffee at the top of the list) from which I customarily take a break during Lent, this year I am adding a little social media to my Lenten abstinence.

Like last year, I will be off Facebook until Easter. But this year I am adding “In A Spacious Place” to the addictions I will abandon for the next six weeks… well almost. At least I will not be posting in this space on current affairs, church politics, scandals, or interesting ideas. For the most part I will attempt to post only spiritual quotes, perhaps, if I can restrain myself, without even any accompanying reflection from me.

I find myself increasingly conflicted about blogging.

Andrew Sullivan, one of the most admired and influential political bloggers in the United States, after fifteen years of blogging, recently walked away from his blog “The Daily Dish.” In explaining his reasons for leaving, Sullivan wrote,

I am saturated in digital life and I want to return to the actual world again. I’m a human being before I am a writer; and a writer before I am a blogger, and although it’s been a joy and a privilege to have helped pioneer a genuinely new form of writing, I yearn for other, older forms. I want to read again, slowly, carefully. I want to absorb a difficult book and walk around in my own thoughts with it for a while. I want to have an idea and let it slowly take shape, rather than be instantly blogged. I want to write long essays that can answer more deeply and subtly the many questions that the Dish years have presented to me. I want to write a book.

I want to spend some real time with my parents, while I still have them, with my husband, who is too often a ‘blog-widow’, my sister and brother, my niece and nephews, and rekindle the friendships that I have simply had to let wither because I’m always tied to the blog. And I want to stay healthy. I’ve had increasing health challenges these past few years. They’re not HIV-related; my doctor tells me they’re simply a result of fifteen years of daily, hourly, always-on-deadline stress. These past few weeks were particularly rough – and finally forced me to get real.

http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2015/01/28/a-note-to-my-readers/

I do not have any health concerns, nor do I have parents with whom I have failed “to spend some real time.” I regularly enjoy the enormous privilege of spending rich time with my extended family, for which I am eternally grateful.

But, I do know that blogging crowds out other things. The idea of reading “slowly, carefully” and absorbing “a difficult book” and walking “around in my own thoughts with it for a while,” has great appeal.

I began blogging on 6 August 2008 http://inaspaciousplace.blogspot.ca/2008/08/new-blog.html. There are 74 posts at blogspot. On 25 April 2010, I moved over to WordPress with a post called “Skipping Church” https://inaspaciousplace.wordpress.com/2010/04/25/skipping-church/. As of today, at WordPress I have posted 2,090 times and have registered over half a million views.

Compared to Andrew Sullivan my offering in blogland is miniscule, nonetheless somewhat obsessive. The problem with the blog world is that it risks skimming the surface. Especially for those who seem to feel compelled to blog every day, there is always the danger of rushing to produce without pausing to ponder.

One of the ironies of this blog is that producing it has often crowded out time for me to create “A Spacious Place” in my own life. Lent is a time to open up space. It offers an opportunity to explore a different rhythm in life, to live more gently on this earth and enter more intentionally into conscious relationship with people and creation.

So, while I do not anticipate right now that I am going to entirely disappear from blogland, I aim to make my presence less obvious. Throughout Lent, as I post worthwhile thoughts from writers I have valued, I will ponder the place of this blog in my life and ministry and determine after Easter what its future might be.

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