Monday, July 30, 2007

Need for extended refueling

There are times when an afternoon of reading in a coffee shop will recharge my introverted tank, and then there are times when I need an entire week of refueling. It's almost as if there are two tanks - the short term tank and the long term tank. The short term tank can be refueled quickly but the long term tank takes much longer to fill and is drained by extended periods of extending compassion to others. It's time for a vacation.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Forthcoming book

Recently I received an email from a woman who stumbled upon this blog after she googled "introverted Christian." Her name is Susan and she is writing a book (and unlike me, actually has a publisher signed on) which looks at the major institutions of American life - education, politics, religion, etc - and claims that our culture is decidedly biased towards extroverts. She then turns towards the strengths and contributions that introverts bring to this kind of culture that "can't stop talking." The book will be released in 2009, and I'm quite excited about Susan's project.

She is even letting me in on her research. In May we did a phone interview and then in August she will be accompanying me on one of my patient visits, as well as attending a service at a church I am preaching at that month.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Slacking off

Even though I've been lax on posting recently, I'm getting more visitors than ever. I've noticed recently that a lot of people are coming from what looks like a page blogger links to after someone has posted. Where is this site appearing on blogger?

Thanks to those of you who have linked to this site. I already have more people linking here than to my other blog, which gets about 3 times the number of visitors on a daily basis.

You'll hear from me again soon.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Waiting...

This wait to hear from my publisher is killing me! I only sent my book proposal in a little over a month ago but already it feels like 6 months.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Introverted Growth in Two Directions

I think that growth, and I'm thinking particularly about introverts but it's also applicable to everyone, involves movement in two directions. The first direction is inward and downward, and it involves learning how to embrace and refine your gifts and strengths. For introverts this might involve coming to terms with things like your need for solitude, the tendency to have deeper relationships with fewer people, and your reflective nature. Then it is a matter of learning how to utilize such tendencies better - perhaps learning how to use your reflective side in creative ways - such as writing, or in ways that draw you closer to God - like contemplative prayer, which is a style of prayer which allows God to determine the agenda.

The second direction is outwards, actually moving in the opposite direction that some of your natural tendencies would want you to go. I'm thinking here especially about the importance of community. As much as I would love to hole up in my study, reading, writing, and reflecting 8-12 hours a day, I can't find any mature Christian, of this age or previous ages, who says that you can be a truly mature person without bumping up against other people on a regular basis. Ronald Rollheiser, in The Shattered Lantern, says that one of the time-honored ways to find God in a culture that seeks success, money, and power is to "kiss the leper," to spend time with those who are outcasts in our culture. The poor, the dying, the sick, the alienated. When we are with those who on the outside of our culture peking order, we find a different set of values and moreover, we find God. So much of me wants to be lost in my grand ideas and reflections, away from the noise and urgency of other people, but I cannot escape the fact that growth for all humans involves the messiness of genuine human contact and the struggles of intimacy.