Right now you’re saying to yourself . . . what? I thought this blog was about getting closer to God and taking your faith to the next level, not about eating healthy!
Before you start to worry that I’m shifting topics or that I’ve just gone a little loopy (jury’s still out on that one), my title isn’t referring to eating organic food. It’s about an organic approach to our relationship with God. Let me explain what I mean.
For my new writing job (that I actually get paid for, unlike this blog, which is a labor of love), I have learned some things about SEO and writing content for the Internet. Some of it I already knew, like keeping paragraphs short and using certain keywords. I do that on this blog, in case you haven’t noticed.
However, I also learned that many popular articles have some sort of hook or a particular focus. They may be in the form of lists, such as “5 Foods You Should Never Eat,” or they may instruct you about “The Top 10 Things a Husband Should Do For His Wife.” The most often-shared articles of recent months have been quizzes, like “What Frozen character are you?”
I think some of these articles are great, and they do get me to read them when they seem to cover a topic that I’m interested in. I will confess that recently I read an article about the 10 most horrible celebrity couples or something like that, just out of curiosity. I’m a little embarrassed about that one, but hey, it’s true.
You will notice, though, that this blog is not filled with articles telling you “The 5 Best Ways to Pray” or “The 10 Things You Never Want to Say to God.” I don’t think you will ever find a quiz on my site asking you, “Which of the Seven Deadly Sins Are You Guilty Of?” Besides the bad grammar in that title, it’s just not my thing.
I can write articles like that in my sleep. Sometimes I think I was born to give advice, and most of my posts are gently how-to in nature, as well as my upcoming e-book, which will be published in the next week. I think goal-setting isn’t just a good idea, it’s essential to life. I do it, and I admire people who do it far better than I do (like my husband).
In my times of prayer and devotion and deep thought, however, I don’t sense God telling me to be more goal-oriented or to take that “get down to business” tone in my writing. When I’m really paying attention, God keeps on drawing my focus to the process rather than the goal itself. He’s helped me slow down and tell the story of the things going on around me. He’s helped me connect with Him and with the people around me.
That’s what I mean by going organic. So many times we are focused on getting things done to the detriment of paying attention to how they get done, and what we are learning along the way. We will miss so much of what God wants to show us about ourselves and life if we don’t learn to stop and dig into the dirt for a little while, at least figuratively.
Organic is messy. It’s dirty. Sometimes the bugs or the bunnies eat the fruit of your labors. Sometimes the weeds try to take over. But organic is also unpolluted by chemicals and other unnatural things. I’ve started to eat more foods that are organic, and I’ve also started to embrace an organic relationship with God. My life does not need to be in neat little chemically-treated rows that I control. I can let everything grow and just reach toward the sun and know that God’s got it under control much better than I ever could.
I was looking for a picture of a garden to put in this article, and I found the perfect one on Flickr. The photographer wasn’t allowing downloads though, so I decided just to link to it here. I hope you click through and look at it. It’s so colorful, yet a little bit messy and imperfect. I think it’s beautiful in its imperfection.
So I doubt whether this blog will ever get to the top of Google search rankings, and I’m okay with that. I’m more concerned with staying in touch with the still, small voice of God than I am about using the right keywords or giving you some list or quiz. I’m just trusting that God will use what I write to reach the people He intends it to reach. And along the way, I’m learning and growing right along with my readers.
If you are enjoying reading this blog, you may (or may not) be excited to know that I will publish my first e-book any day now. I am certainly excited to publish it! It will be called 7 Days to a Closer Relationship With God. I will provide a link when it is uploaded to Kindle in a few days. This will be a great resource for anyone who wants to get closer to God, and a great resource to share with friends who believe in God but don’t know where to go from there. I am excited to see how God will use this book to change people’s lives. I know that writing it certainly changed my life in many ways.
To celebrate publishing the book, I am also going to start 2 new blog series of articles, one called Practical Faith and one that provides short reviews of Christian books that have been particularly inspiring to my own faith walk. Stick around, there’s some good stuff coming!
Above photo copyright (c) 2009 by Marian Byrne, used as part of Flickr’s Creative Commons License.