It’s always a little bit frightening (read ‘scary’, ‘nerve-wracking’) to “discover”:http://open-dialogue.com/blog/index.php/archives/60#comments you are being read, and then that you are being “taken at least somewhat seriously”:http://open-dialogue.com/blog/index.php/archives/60#comment-108 (but then again, isn’t that exactly part of _why_ we write?). Frankly, I find this fact to be both humbling and gratifying at the same time — humbling in that my thoughts are being shared and my words being read and that they are having some sort of impact on the world around me, and gratifying in that this fire to write is being satisfied, that there is discourse to be had about the things that interest me, and that God is using this to (hopefully) further His Kingdom.
I think that what I find so frightening about actually affecting others with my writing is two-fold. First, there is always the fear that my thinking is incorrect. This is part of why I write, though, to share my thoughts and to let other people try to punch holes in them as best as they can. How can I ever grow in my philosophy, theology, and ideology if I am never challenged to defend them? And what cannot be defended should be looked closely to determine why it cannot be defended. In the process the chaff is discarded and what is left is a pile of golden nuggets of truth. I just fear, sometimes, that in this process of discourse I will inadvertantly steer someone wrong. I can only hope that others are seeking truth in much the same way I am and that they will also critically analyze everything with hopes of filtering out the junk.
The other fear that niggles at the back of my brain is the recognition that not everyone recognizes the fact that a person’s individual writings are, generally, representative only of that individual. They are but a single data point in the entire population and should be analyzed as such. For instance, while I “believe”:http://open-dialogue.com/blog/index.php/archives/60 that worship is probably best placed at the end of a church service, not everyone is going to feel that way (hence my suggestion to mix it up). My opinion may, in fact, be in the minority, since a lot of people don’t like to deviate from tradition. My point is simply that I fear someone may read my thoughts (sounds a little bit ESPish, doesn’t it?) and ascertain from them that this is the general consensus of the population, when, in fact, I am typically just tossing out an alternative idea. (Don’t get me wrong, “cindy”:http://www.cindybryan.com — I’m not worried that you have fallen prey to this error. Your comment just reminded me of this little brain-niggler.)
These fears are probably actually a good thing, to an extent. They force me to be careful in my writing, to really think through my arguments and make sure I spell them out as clearly as I can. And then I share them and wait for the feedback that helps me shape these thoughts in an ever-better perspective. We can learn from each other, and _that_ is the real reason why I write.