To my conscious perception, it appears that the immediate instrumental cause of my absence from this corner of cyberspace is found in the demands of "real" life. Parish ministry is demanding, and certainly "outranks" my blogging activity. I have a wife, and three grown children (two of whom live a mere 120 miles away with their spouses), and a 14-month old granddaughter who provides more than ample incentive to escape to Chicago during the day-and-a-half of time each week which I can in some sense consider "free." I'm also aware that I've growth slothful in the intellectual and spiritual discipline of reading. Sure, I guess you could say I get a lot of reading done by "surfing the 'net," and much of that reading is quite valuable. But I need to read ... you know ... actual books, if I don't want to stagnate and become all self-absorbed--indeed, if I want to have anything of substance to post on places like this blog. And for those reasons, I've been devoting more time to reading lately.
When people perfunctorily ask me, "How are you?", I often respond along the lines of "There's nothing wrong in my life that about eight more hours in a day wouldn't fix." I really do envy those who can get by on just a token amount of sleep each night. I'm just not one of them. And so part of my absence from blogging can be explained by decisions I make about spending time in ministry, spending time with family, and spending time just resting and "re-creating." It's foolish to demand so many golden eggs that you kills the goose that lays them.
So ... I will be back, and sooner than later, I think. Just last week I attended a conference at which I was reminded by many that what I do here really is a ministry, indeed, a calling. I have not lost my sense of vocation. An unplanned abandonment of a discretionary activity always raises the question whether that particularly activity has just run its course, had its day. I don't have that sense about my blogging. There may come a time to move on. It's happened to others much more prominent than I am. But I don't think that time is here yet.