Again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go and take a census of Israel and Judah.”
So the king said to Joab and the army commanders with him, “Go throughout the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba and enroll the fighting men, so that I may know how many there are.”
But Joab replied to the king, “May the Lord your God multiply the troops a hundred times over, and may the eyes of my lord the king see it. But why does my lord the king want to do such a thing?”
The king’s word, however, overruled Joab and the army commanders; so they left the presence of the king to enroll the fighting men of Israel.
- 2 Samuel 24:1-4
“It may be possible for each to think too much of his own potential glory hearafter; it is hardly possible for him to think too often or too deeply about that of his neighbor. The load, or weight, or burden of my neighbour’s glory should be laid on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken.”
- C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
For a review of this year’s blogs (2018), I could give the statistics for this past year’s posts, as they are recorded in WordPress, but WordPress does not record every view or visitor. If you are not registered with WordPress, I may never know who you are. If you read this page from the Reader in WP rather than opening the page on my site, your visit may not be registered in the data. (You know, those odd days when your post has been likes more times than it has been viewed.) Thus, the numbers are only an indication of how the post, or the site in general, is doing.
I could use comparisons to other blog sites, but many of the friends that I have ‘met’ on-line have been at this for years more than I have. Can I expect to double or triple my followers in three years? I would love to do better than that, but what does it matter in my life or in God’s kingdom, as long as God is glorified?
King David called for a census when God had not required it. Why? The first verse of 2 Samuel 24 states that God incited him to do so, but what within David caused him to fall for the suggestion? Was it what C. S. Lewis suggests? Was David trying to measure the weight of his own glory, for just a moment? David, a man after God’s own heart, who glorified God at every turn, wants to know how great he, David, is? Yes, let’s count the men. If you read further in 2 Samuel, it did not turn out so well for him.
So, who am I? I write a blog. I get silly at times. I get preachy at times. I try to teach, most of the time. I am even thinking of writing a Bible Study based on my goofy fictional stories. When reading over them, there are some moral points to make.
Who do I do it for? Is it to glorify me? Absolutely not. I will look over this blog post a month from now, and I might find several mistakes. I will think, beyond a shadow of doubt, that I could have done better. If the truth be known, I have modified this post each time I review it. I read countless posts from other people, and they write better prose. I am too sappy to even attempt poetry. My wife loves my sappy poems, but they are usually me expressing my love for her in rhyme. I am not in the league of the poets on the blogosphere.
But God gave me this burden to write these posts. I am on fire when I am at the keyboard, for I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. Will my fingers move in the right direction? I certainly hope so.
If I shared the statistics for January 2018 and compared them to December 2018, my numbers have grown, a lot. Compared to July 2017, when I started? Even more. But maybe God is asking me to write something because one person, who will never show up in the recorded data, needs to read something that I have written. Will one additional soul in Heaven make the past 500+ posts worthwhile? If an entire choir of angels will sing when a lost sheep has been found, then ten thousand times, YES. It has been worth it.
For all of you who visit, view, like, and comment, I cherish each of you. I love the conversations (of sorts). Please, keep coming back. Many of you are great encouragers. I don’t write for the praise, but only to spread the word. Yet, the encouragement is a nice bonus.
This concludes my year-end three-part message. We learned that being a Zax may not be the right way to make progress, because if we are on the wrong road, we may have to turn around to make progress. We each need to find the direction in which God points us. We learned that when you pray without listening, God isn’t silent. You just are not listening. But even then, God gets you to where He wants you. And today, we learned that I am where I want to be, going in the direction that I feel God is pointing, and where I can serve God.
For you, there may be many turns in the road. You should always pray and ask God for guidance, but regardless of the fork in the road that you take, remember that all things are for the good and they will get you where you need to be in serving God, even if you must turn around a few times.
Next year, expect to see a lot more of the same on this blog site. I seem to have increased from 10 posts every two weeks to about 15 posts in two weeks, but regardless of how many posts, there will be more stuff to write about, as I listen to that voice calling me to serve God in God’s direction. You may even see more of Deviled Yeggs, and his extended ‘family’ of characters (What is the name of Deviled’s old man? Hmmm.), and maybe Mashie Niblick, who appeared this morning in Deviled’s latest adventure, will have a standalone adventure or two. But mostly, I just want to share the love that God has placed in my heart and provide encouragement along the way.
After finishing this post last week, I read Reflections on the Psalms by C. S. Lewis, a short book. He begins this book with a wonderful paragraph that explains how we can learn from each other. He speaks of his lack of qualifications, and how that helps him communicate with others who are not educated to pastor a flock. Since I am not seminary trained, I could identify with his thoughts. Since I have taught adults in Sunday school and in industry, I can identify with him trying to answer questions raised by students.
“This is not a work of scholarship. I am no Herbaist, no higher critic, no ancient historian, no archaeologist. I write for the unlearned about things in which I am unlearned myself. If an excuse is needed (and perhaps it is) for writing such a book, my excuse would be something like this. It often happens that two schoolboys can solve difficulties in their work for one another better than the master can. When you took the problem to a master, as we all remember, he was very likely to explain what you understand already, to add a great deal of information which you didn’t want, and say nothing at all about the thing that was puzzling you. I have watched this from both sides of the net; for when, as a teacher myself, I have tried to answer questions brought me by pupils, I have sometimes, after a minute, seen that expression settle down on their faces which assured me that they were suffering exactly the same frustration which I had suffered from my own teachers. The fellow-pupil can help more than the master because he knows less. The difficulty we want him to explain is one he has recently met. The expert met it so long ago that he has forgotten. He sees the whole subject, by now, in such different light that he cannot conceive what is really troubling the pupil; he sees a dozen other difficulties which ought to be troubling him but aren’t.”
- C. S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms
I will keep writing, and I hope my fellow bloggers will keep writing and posting as well. We are highly ‘qualified’ to write about our faith Journey, not because of education (although some are highly educated), but because we are each on a faith journey. Regardless of our progress along the path, there are others that can relate to what we are saying. The key is to keep ‘saying.’
Happy New Year.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.