We are told that if we have passion, if we put lots of energy into things, if we just work hard enough - we will have success. We are trained to think this way from childhood up - dream and dream and it will be real. You can be whatever you want to be.
:sniffle: The fact that my brand spanking new Star Wars Blog wherein I will be doing reviews of the entire Star Wars fiction library (excluding children's books) has had only 13 hits an no return visitors strike home with this (um, no, this isn't a shameless plug).
But, but, but I'm passionate about it. I love Star Wars. I've worked really hard.
Okay, so it's slap dash and I was expecting easy and quick results and lots of glory - maybe the folks at Club Jade saying, "Oh, this is wonderful, because as we all know, we NEED another Star Wars Blog."
Alas, reality sets in. It will never be a 1000 follower blog, praised and lauded. I won't get invited to coventions to be on panels. Why? Sometimes, people just don't care.
So, what do I do? Say, "Aw, forget it"? Stop writing? Or, do I say, "Ah, I enjoy this, I shall keep on doing it"? (Actually, if I stop, it will be due to the fact that I'm going to try to reread some Star Wars books I really don't like, and they may sap my will to live)
And right now you are thinking - well, is it not enough that people ignore one blog, must you bore us with your whiney diatribes here too?
And this, my friends, is the point. The simple, simple fact is this. Sometimes people just don't care. And as theologians we must remember this, but not let it change us.
I think the greatest difficulty Christians have in dealing with the faith is not the difficult questions, not the moral discipline and formation of habits. These can be hard, of course, but the wrestling there is sometimes satisfying. When you have helped someone through a theological rough patch - rewarding. Good habits - rewarding.
No, what is difficult is when you realize just how many people don't care. And the thing is, we are told that if we just have passion, we will be successful. That if we love our people, they will love us back. If they know what we care, they will care what we know and can teach them. And, to a certain extent, this is true. If you are a tool and a jerk you can turn people off, give them cause to let their sinful nature write you off.
However, even when we do things right - whether it is pastors dealing with congregations or laity dealing with friends and neighbors, sometimes people just don't care. There are times when the proclamation of the Word will just seem to fall and hit the ground with a giant collective thunk.
So, what do we do then? Do we make radical changes? Make things into a dog and pony show? Do we look at ourselves and despair?
I do like the line of the Franzmann hymn - Preach you the Word and plant it home, to people who like it or like it not.
As Christians, our examinations need to be solid and stern, but based upon our actions, our inaction, our failings. These we need to repent of. However, our examinations of ourselves need to avoid being tainted and twisted by the burden of people's reactions. Sometimes people just don't care.
I wish it weren't so, but it is true. But that fact will not control me, will not drive me down, will not force my hand. You all can do what you want, but as for me and my house - it's not "we will do something radical and new to desperately try to attract people" - it's we will follow the Lord.
And the Lord will tend to His own Church. What part do I end up playing, what does He accomplish through me as His tool and workmanship. Eh, that's up to Him - I'm not going to worry about it.
Sometimes people just don't care - but Christ Jesus always cares for you, always supports and sustains you. That's a focus that never brings despair, never brings theological stupidity, never kills but only brings the life of Christ Jesus Himself.