my desk - 11:30 p.m. - monday night
"Yes - there were many potential pursuits in life that were flashier, more attractive, more acceptable - but only one that I knew in my depths I had a God-given yearning toward: writing. The other pursuits were not inherently wrong... but for me, God said no." ~ Mark Steele
standing outside the door of my creative writing class on my first day back to college, the girl standing next to me says, "I'd like to have my first book published by the time I'm thirty-five... so that gives me twelve years." i smile. "that's a good goal", i said... "that would give me about two". thankfully, that isn't my goal. i've thought very little of specific goals and instead, of only of one purpose: to glorify Christ.
these first few weeks of returning to college to study english have not been a walk in the park: i am struggling with the technical aspects of literature; the countless theories of literary analyzation; the iambic pentameters of poetry; the forced subject matter of my creative writing class; the critique of twenty year olds... need i continue? more than a few times already, i have thought to myself, "what am i doing here?". truly, only the Lord knows. aside from lessons in literature, i am learning - daily - lessons of trust; of perseverence; and of self-discipline.
i am a writer. i may never write anything more than the pages of this blog. my words may never reach beyond the circle of my closest friends who faithfully follow my this blog. but it doesn't change the fact that writing is who i am; it is who i have always been. countless other pursuits over the course of my life have led me back to the one that began when i was twelve: writing. i never aspired to write; i just did. it was not a conscious choice, but a subconscious neccessity. only over the last few months have i come to understand that this is who God made me to be; and this is what He made me to do.
"God's gifts of grace come in many forms: Each of you has received a gift in order to serve others. You should use it faithfully. If you speak, you should do it like one speaking God's very words. If you serve, you should do it with the strength God provides. Then in all things God will be praised through Jesus Christ. " 1 Peter 4:10-11
i wasted so much of my life in search of myself, according to the wisdom of the world: following my heart, following the pursuit of my own happiness and my own selfish desires. the wisdom of the world leads to darkness; senseless wandering far from the narrow path. we try to "find ourselves" and we fail. we seek out our identity in the world and we find confusion and despair. the world promises self-fulfillment but provides emptiness. who we are, who we really are, is who God says we are in Isaiah 43:
"You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am He." Isaiah 43:10
this is our calling. the desinty for all of us who know Him. We are called not simply believe IN Him; but to believe HIM. we are His witnesses. this is not the calling of an elect few. this is the calling for each of us who have His story of redemption written across our hearts. we are called to be living, breathing, walking, talking displays of His redemption. not to simply speak the words with our mouths about a God who saves, but for our lives to be a reflection of His redemption and His glory.
when i write, i can feel His story of redemption in my life being told; the glory of His grace being revealed. that phrase is my own and yet, mark steele wrote that phrase in his book, verbatim. confirmation washed over my heart. despite all the various pursuits that seemed more appealing or appropriate, for writer mark steele, God said "no". for me, God simply said: "write".