I am writing this piece on June 11. When you read this, it will be ideally June 17, and I will be in Fort Wayne, Indiana. As most of you know, my team will be playing power soccer, so I don’t know that I will have a lot of time to write over the weekend like I usually do.
I don’t normally like to write ahead of time because you never know what might change between now and then. I don’t remember the exact legislation, but there was one time I had anticipated publishing something on a particular law that was about to be passed, but I had written it a week early and by the time my next publication date came around, the law had been shot down. Not that it was that big of a deal, but I think you can see what I mean. It is weird to write something one day, anticipating you will feel the same way about whatever you have written several days later.
Of course, I am a chronic second guesser as well. I write something, but I always doubt what I have written. I may feel exactly the same about what I have written as a matter of principle, but as a matter of communication, I may want to word things in a totally different manner. This comes out a lot for me when I write about controversial issues. On this website you know I have written about abortion multiple times. Those are hard articles for me to write. It is not because I question my principles or my position. I think I have a solid intellectual foundation for my pro-life convictions. However, I question the way that I communicate those convictions. I want to put forward my position in the best light possible for two reasons. When I talk about important things like that, I certainly don’t want to be the guy who puts up a dumb article that people use to explain why the pro-life position is terrible or something like that. I want to be the guy who puts up the article that really forces people to think. Again though, I second-guess myself, so even if I may feel exactly the same about the position I have already taken, I may want to rewrite my entire article just because I all of a sudden doubt what I have written. It is another problem with writing something so early.
I don’t know that I can write this article without also mentioning the fact that when you write ahead of time, you sometimes forget what you have written until you publish it. I have definitely done that before as well. For some of you who might not have been following my writing for all that long, I used to write a daily devotional blog. I would take a chapter of the Bible every day and just reflect on it in a few hundred words. There were times when, for example, during final exam week in college, I would do much like I am doing right now and write ahead of time. I wanted to make sure I put out a decent product and didn’t rush ridiculously because I was stressed out over my exams or anything like that. The fun part happened when people wanted to talk about what I had written. That didn’t happen all the time of course, but it is funny when you publish something in the morning and claim that you couldn’t remember it in the afternoon. Yet another hazard of trying to write ahead of time. And, as a bit of a disclaimer, if you could be on this article next Monday (or, the day that you are ideally reading this), hopefully my team will be gearing up to play in the semifinals, so I can virtually promise you that I may not remember all the fine details of what I have written for you. My focus will hopefully be elsewhere.
As I write about all of this, I cannot help but think that it seems really bizarre to be writing an article ahead of time about why I should not write articles ahead of time. However, there is one last truth that is absolutely necessary. Sometimes life makes you do things that you may not necessarily want to do in a perfect world. My example here is a little bit ridiculous because I am doing something I want to do, so writing early is really just a choice I am making. I realize that there are not serious consequences really to any decision I make. Even if I didn’t write for a week and didn’t publish anything, maybe some of you would be disappointed, but overall, it is not really the biggest deal in the world. The world is probably not going to change because of anything I write or do not write on this website.
All that being said and qualified, I think we can all relate to this kind of thing. Sometimes there are things that have to be done with you want to do them or not, and you make it happen. I can’t help but think of the conversion of CS Lewis. He went to a very long intellectual journey to try to find the truth, and he ended up with Christianity. He realized that it was right, and he had to make a decision. I would consider him a reluctant convert. He did not just go to church one day and all of a sudden recognize that he needed to become a Christian. It was a journey, but it was something that had to be done if he was going to consistently pursue truth.
That is my encouragement for you today. Sometimes I think there are things that we cannot always understand or don’t always want to do, but we do them. There is some sufficient reason that motivates us to recognize the fact that we have to pull the trigger on whatever decision we might be facing. For CS Lewis, it was his Christianity. In a much more trivial way, it was be deciding to write something even know it is not my favorite way to write. For you, who knows what it might be? I certainly don’t. That said, if it really is something that you have to do, then I think this is probably the time to do it. There’s not much that you can do if it is actually necessary. Take the courage and face it head on. (And cheer for my soccer team in the games that we are hypothetically playing perhaps even as you read this).