Foolish Fears

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been wearing a Lego jester minifigure on a cord around my neck. I often wear interesting pendants that have meaning to me, and this one is no exception. Simply put, I’ve been wearing this guy around in the hope that it would be a conversation-starter about this blog. It’s basically intended to be a <ohihateusingthisterm> ‘marketing tool’ to give me an opportunity to tell people that I’m blogging about faithy stuff and to invite them to check it out.

Well, the pendant has definitely worked in terms of starting conversations. I’ve had more questions and comments about this little guy on my neck than anything I’ve worn before. People at church, friends at the seminary, strangers at the store.

“What’s that necklace you’re wearing?”; “Is that a Lego guy on your necklace?”; “That’s interesting, what’s are you wearing that for?”

And in pretty much every case, from the strangest stranger to the closest friend, my answer has been something like this:

“This is my Motley Evangelist. It’s a Lego jester. I’ve been wearing it to – um, I’m … because, ah … to remind myself not to take myself so seriously. And because my kids and I love Legos.”

And people have generally replied with “Aw, that’s neat” (or “cute” or “nice”) and they’s chuckle with a little twinkle in their eyes.

And then, the conversation would move on to another topic, or the person would say “Have a nice day” and walk away, or whatever.

But in the 15-20 times I’ve had people ask about it, NOT ONCE did I ever say “I’m writing a blog called The Motley Evangelist about trying to wrestle with what being an evangelist means and how we can maybe reclaim and embrace it through conversations, stories, and sharing ideas.”

No, I didn’t even simply say “I’m writing a blog.”

I said nothing.

In the mean time, I’ve also encountered several instances lately where fellow bloggers that I regularly follow have closed out a blog post with an explicit invitation for people with faith blogs to mention and link them in the comments.

Have I taken those invitations as opportunities t0 share this blog’s existence? No. Not once.

Why not?

I keep blasting my Facebook friends and Twitter peeps with a stream of links to posts here and often reply to tweets using the @motleyevangel account. And I’ve gained a lot of Twitter followers by doing so. But when it comes to telling people – even my close friends – about it in person, or putting a link to it in another blogger’s comment stream – EVEN WHEN INVITED TO DO SO – I get scared, and, I dunno, embarrassed or something.

I don’t recall having this problem with openly promoting my podcasts & blogs back when I was focused on roleplaying games & all that stuff. So, I can’t help but wonder what’s up this time. Is it because the focus topic is evangelism?  Is it because my threshold of confidence for self-promotion is too high when it comes to faith stuff?

I dunno. I just know that whenever the opportunity actually comes up, promoting this blog feels … pushy. Kinda smarmy. Like I don’t have something worth sharing. Like I’ll come off as fake, or pushing some sort of agenda, or step on somebody’s toes.

Just like with evangelism.

The lies we tell ourselves. The foolish fears we invite to dance with us. The whispering demons assuring us that OUR ideas, OUR experiences, and OUR faith journeys are not worthy of being crowed about.

And now, as I feel that little plastic jester-guy tamping lightly against my chest, dancing on his black leather cord, I am reminded …

I AM taking myself too seriously. I’m overthinking it. I’m letting foolish fears get the best of me. And all the while, opportunities for friendship, dialog, community, conversation and Gospel-sharing are whizzing by, lost because I’m too focused on me.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go tell some people about this blog.




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