Tag Archives: hobbies

Not Blogging

Not Blogging

For me, words can’t reveal like the camera can.

It seems a bit off to write a blog post about not blogging.

Nevertheless, since this is what I’m thinking about, here we are.

I like writing. I like the process of crystallizing my thoughts to the degree of being able to express them to others via printed word, in hopes that they will get a clear idea of what’s transpiring in my head.

I like the art of crafting communication, considering word choice, sentence rhythm, symmetry and variety as facets of communicating with lively interest.

I mostly think in words, in lists, in essays…rather than in pictures or physical movement.

And yet, with all of this internal appeal, in this season I cannot say that I feel the same way about writing as I do about photography.

I have mentioned previously that I am on a journey of exploring the creative outlet of making images digitally. More life-giving than a hobby, more essential than “art for art’s sake,” photography is touching on something deeply within.

Shockingly, something more intrinsic to me than writing.

Writing is certainly a creative art.

But composing a literary piece is not touching those same spots within me as photography is, those places where the image of God is seeded, waiting to come to fruit.

I have found myself with a need to create–to go out and make new images, or at the very least to process images previously received and bring them to the height of my heart’s desire. Flickr and Facebook are becoming the avenues for sharing my heart, more so than articles and blogs.

I’m still writing (obviously)–even working on a book project–and I don’t expect that to come to a complete halt. But how long will this season of photographic primacy last? How long will the camera call to me more loudly than the pen or keyboard?

Who’s to say? But for now, I long to enjoy and must be faithful to the drive within: to reveal the image of my Creator God through my humble, limited opportunities for producing what my own heart conceives, what my own eye fancies. Perhaps the world may too enjoy something it has never before received.

Perhaps it will just be for me…and Him.


Similar posts:


Photography: A Contemplation

Contemplative Photography #1

Contemplative Photography #2

Contemplative Photography #3

Contemplative Photography #4

1 Comment

Posted by on November 7, 2013 in Life


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mathematics for Faith

I previously wrote about having faith for computer repair, exploring the idea of what faith looks like in the areas of life where we have some apparent control.

Now I have another example of faith, with a twist.

A Faith-Stretching Assignment

I’m currently a graduate student in mathematics. The program is difficult for me and it makes me question whether or not I’m really a math person. The homework is never simple and straightforward; each assignment is a struggle for me. I’m just not getting it this semester; the content isn’t clicking with me.

Others in the class seem to be doing quite well; so I guess I can’t blame things on the professor.

Well, I realized the other day that my math class wasn’t an area of life where I was seeking the Lord in prayer, desperate for His blessing. I was trying to make a go of it in my own strength, and my repeated mediocre results still hadn’t gotten my attention.

My wife reminded me again last night–in the midst of me banging my head on the dining room table in a spell of frustration–that I hadn’t been praying for insight into the homework, that I hadn’t been asking for God to clarify my thinking and to bless my efforts at being a good student.

I replied to her that I doubted any of my classmates were praying about their homework, and they seemed to be doing just fine.

She responded with truth and insight: “That’s because it’s not something He’s trying to use to grow their faith.”

She was right (of course): God has me doing mathematics for faith, a chance to humble myself and trust Him in a very mechanical-looking pursuit.

We joke that this math degree is my hobby; I invest most of my free time in it, spend lots of money on it–but it’s not really much fun. It’s not very life-giving. It’s hard. Frustrating. Confusing. Discouraging.

I’m finally realizing that it’s not a hobby. This math program is a faith training course. It’s rigorous and painful, pushing me to the end of myself and utter desperation–which is right where I need to be to see God’s strength, provision, and blessing.

Control? You’d think I’d have a large amount of control over my studies; put effort in, get results out. But I see now that I don’t have any control; I can’t manufacture my math homework.

God’s got me in mathematics for faith.

The question is: do I have faith for mathematics?


1 Comment

Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Life, Prayer


Tags: , ,


I’ve often wondered about hobbies. I think it is life-enhancing to have things that I invest in and enjoy outside of work. I struggle at times to see the raw utility in such endeavors, but I do believe that they contribute to a higher quality of life, providing avenues for connection and relationship with others, while also serving as an outlet for creativity and a forum for self-improvement even.

But there is one hobby with which I am especially struggling. Coming back to America, I’ve seen just how frequently shopping serves as a hobby.

Going to a mall on a weekend or even after working hours on a weekday and observing the incredible numbers of people who spend their off hours perusing the racks of their favorite department store caught me by surprise.

Is the acquisition of items really a hobby? When I think of hobbies, I usually consider various creative or entertainment pursuits. True enough, many people collect various things–I myself have a DVD collection that surpasses 650 titles–but I’m still not sure that mall shopping qualifies as a life-enhancing hobby.

When I was younger, I was a bit of a mall rat, prone to spending weekend hours at the mall’s video arcade, toy shops, and bookstores. But I still wrestle with seeing adults spending their leisure time in the checkout line.

Certainly, some shopping is necessary. Our modern culture has structured society such that we use commerce to enable specialization in our occupations which requires us to acquire the goods needed for survival from others, and we use currency to help regulate and balance that exchange.

But I see shopping that goes beyond acquiring items of necessity.

My wife is a deal shopper. She is excellent at online research and uncovering good bargains. She saves us a lot of money on things we need to purchase, and helps to bring some optional items within economic reach for us.

But she isn’t a rampant shopper. The credit card balances are always sensible and paid off each month.

What I’m confused about is another kind of shopping. The hobby-shopping seems to be an exhausting, ultimately unsatisfying hunt to purchase items that are not needed, and perhaps barely even wanted. It seems that the pursuit itself is a large part of this activity, yet it must be culminated by the swipe of a card or the closing of a cash drawer or else the time investment proves additionally life-draining.

Have we lost our imagination, our desire for creativity? Is such shopping not all that different from mindless TV watching, even if more active?

Acquisition drives much of our work ethic and economic views. Must it also dominate our leisure pursuits as well? Or are we so unable to turn off our vocational selves that this predilection for acquisition necessarily spills into our off-the-clock hours as well? Indeed, perhaps hobby-shopping is the simple result of our employed selves: we work to shop. We acquire for our employers that we might acquire for ourselves.

My wife and I occasionally have dates that end up being little more than shopping trips. Sometimes, this is okay–we’re fulfilling the necessities of life, and doing so together. But at other times, it turns out to be a rather unfulfilling venture, bereft of any benefit to our relationship, rest, or refreshment. Thankfully, such dates are rather rare.

But I’m concerned that hobby-shopping all too frequently becomes the default activity for many people. Without the drive or the energy to engage in a more life-giving pursuit, the car automatically arrives at the mall parking lot and the credit card leaps forth from the wallet, slipping silently through the machine while the bags of purchases accumulate on our arms and serve only to exhaust us further.


1 Comment

Posted by on January 23, 2012 in Life


Tags: , ,

%d bloggers like this: