speak less; say more

by Matt MooneyMarch 20, 2014

I have been a bit silent as of late.  On purpose.  I have given over to a season of reflection.  A season replete with a little more silence- around me and from me.

I am always drawn to the idea of such a focused time, but something within me seems to fight any figment of actual implementation.  Which seems to suggests I like to think of myself as someone I am not- much like a writer with no pages to hand over.  Aspiration is not identity.

As of late, I noticed some folks full of words, filled with distractions and, more to the point, checking over their shoulder being sure to count their followers.

Typically in the above sentence I would strain instead to pinpoint myself as the bad guy- taking the fall for the whole community because its easier to be hard on one’s self and to be honest, it makes for better writing when you tell of your own faults rather than point to trespasses of others.  But I only saw tree trunks within me once I was repulsed by the specks of another.

There are more outlets and platforms these days that serve to give us all a voice; what a gift to watch countless formerly-quieted stories bravely go out into the world.  We update statuses, post links and lend our approving thumbs up at quite a clip.  But there’s this unsettling phenomenon that I am seeing with startling clarity as of late- most clearly in those not named Matt, but unfortunately within myself as well.

Many of you know that Ginny & I took thousands of photos and countless hours of video footage in our 99 days with our first son, Eliot.  We knew our time was precious and though we were reluctant to admit it, we could foresee a day when these captured moments were all we had.

And so I entered fatherhood with my 3 other rascals much the same way.  I will capture it, hold it down, bring a moment into tangible reality for the future.  But as of late, I find myself filming less and snapping more infrequently.  My favorite photos now are the ones I’ve stolen- when no one but me knew the camera was present.

Because with the awareness of an audience comes the propensity to pose.

Telling stories can easily slide into producing consistent content for readers.  And when this evolution occurs, stories slide into topics- possibly still wrapped in an illusion of a story, though easily distinguished.

I am awash in rants and responses on the latest theological buzz or Christian friction and I would reason a guess that I wish were not the case… when one falls in this trap, the audience grows.  People come for what they want, seldom for what they need.

I guess this is some sort of plea to the bloggers, speakers and leaders.
Do not fear if you have nothing to say.
Do not feel as though you must meet self-imposed deadlines in order to keep eyes and ears upon you.

Every night at bedtime, I turn on a machine as I beg our rascals to stay put in bed, holding their faces and reminding them how God loves them.  The white noise rings out in order that other noises will not be heard.  I turn up the noise in order to keep them from hearing.

I fear we are doing the same in Christendom, applauding our voices and dialing it up, unwarily posting postures, rants and posing that produces deafness for the weary one who came longing for more.

3 Comments

  1. Kris Camealy on March 20, 2014 at 11:28 am

    This is true, Matt. Sadly true.

  2. emilycmc on March 20, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Ah, just had a conversation about this very same notion. Good thoughts.

  3. Stacy on March 20, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    10:20 – I tell John I am going to unfollow all Christians on Twitter bc of the noise and my growing cynicism.
    10:22 – I read this. One more reason to love you, Matt. Hug Ginny for me.

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I have been a bit silent as of late.  On purpose.  I have given over to a season of reflection.  A season replete with a little more silence- around me and from me.

I am always drawn to the idea of such a focused time, but something within me seems to fight any figment of actual implementation.  Which seems to suggests I like to think of myself as someone I am not- much like a writer with no pages to hand over.  Aspiration is not identity.

As of late, I noticed some folks full of words, filled with distractions and, more to the point, checking over their shoulder being sure to count their followers.

Typically in the above sentence I would strain instead to pinpoint myself as the bad guy- taking the fall for the whole community because its easier to be hard on one’s self and to be honest, it makes for better writing when you tell of your own faults rather than point to trespasses of others.  But I only saw tree trunks within me once I was repulsed by the specks of another.

There are more outlets and platforms these days that serve to give us all a voice; what a gift to watch countless formerly-quieted stories bravely go out into the world.  We update statuses, post links and lend our approving thumbs up at quite a clip.  But there’s this unsettling phenomenon that I am seeing with startling clarity as of late- most clearly in those not named Matt, but unfortunately within myself as well.

Many of you know that Ginny & I took thousands of photos and countless hours of video footage in our 99 days with our first son, Eliot.  We knew our time was precious and though we were reluctant to admit it, we could foresee a day when these captured moments were all we had.

And so I entered fatherhood with my 3 other rascals much the same way.  I will capture it, hold it down, bring a moment into tangible reality for the future.  But as of late, I find myself filming less and snapping more infrequently.  My favorite photos now are the ones I’ve stolen- when no one but me knew the camera was present.

Because with the awareness of an audience comes the propensity to pose.

Telling stories can easily slide into producing consistent content for readers.  And when this evolution occurs, stories slide into topics- possibly still wrapped in an illusion of a story, though easily distinguished.

I am awash in rants and responses on the latest theological buzz or Christian friction and I would reason a guess that I wish were not the case… when one falls in this trap, the audience grows.  People come for what they want, seldom for what they need.

I guess this is some sort of plea to the bloggers, speakers and leaders.
Do not fear if you have nothing to say.
Do not feel as though you must meet self-imposed deadlines in order to keep eyes and ears upon you.

Every night at bedtime, I turn on a machine as I beg our rascals to stay put in bed, holding their faces and reminding them how God loves them.  The white noise rings out in order that other noises will not be heard.  I turn up the noise in order to keep them from hearing.

I fear we are doing the same in Christendom, applauding our voices and dialing it up, unwarily posting postures, rants and posing that produces deafness for the weary one who came longing for more.

3 Comments

  1. Kris Camealy on March 20, 2014 at 11:28 am

    This is true, Matt. Sadly true.

  2. emilycmc on March 20, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Ah, just had a conversation about this very same notion. Good thoughts.

  3. Stacy on March 20, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    10:20 – I tell John I am going to unfollow all Christians on Twitter bc of the noise and my growing cynicism.
    10:22 – I read this. One more reason to love you, Matt. Hug Ginny for me.

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