Today marks our 1000th post to a simple desire.
If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. (Mark 8:34b; Context: Mark 8:27-9:8)
When I started writing “a simple desire” on February 27, 2006, my goals were simple: to write honestly about my experience in encountering the scriptures presented by “A Sip of Scripture.” I took it up as a personal discipline, and as a way of connecting with the Mennonite Church. For the first year, it was important that I do this commentary for every day’s scripture, and God helping me, this happened. It was, in a very small way, a fulfillment of today’s scripture to deny myself and take up my cross. I especially tried not to care about a large readership or great eloquence–and, indeed, the number of readers of this weblog is a pretty small number (about 25 thousand “page views” of these posts, (In contrast, a single post I made to a weblog I run devoted to job postings for the relatively obscure programming language, Lisp, got over five thousand page views in a single day).
As often happens, though, the real joy of this weblog has been the new friendships that I have formed. Carole Boshart, who writes for “a simple desire” more frequently than I these days, is one of those new friends. The editor of “A Sip of Scripture,” Melodie Davis, is another. John P. Thomas doesn’t write much any more, but I am glad to have made his acquaintance. And it’s been fun to keep up with my good friend Mark Nielsen both here as he writes, as well as his personal weblog.
I’ll admit to an inveterate reliance on the text of poetry from the Sacred Harp, the American shape note tune book. I think of the words sung to Irwington (author unknown):
What poor, despised company Of travelers are these,
That walk in yonder narrow way, Along the rugged maze?
Ah, they are of a royal line, All children of a King;
Heirs of immortal crowns divine, And loud for joy they sing.
So, it’s been 1000 posts–about 1000 days–of writing in “a simple desire.” A small thing in the eyes of the world, and probably in the eyes of God as well. But walking along with such travelers, and within such a kingdom, I do feel like singing “loud for joy.”