Sunday, October 30, 2011

Post 100

I started this blog back in April, after realizing that my previous blogspot site was inaccessible as an editor (I'd long since deleted the high school email account that I used to start the site).

Since then, I have created 100 posts. Okay, so not all were original--some were Bible passages, some were song lyrics, some were re-postings of old writings that I had done. Most, however, were new writings.

I've loved words since I was a child, and in particular, have always loved writing. I didn't realize this love until my Junior year of college, when I first discovered that I could actually write outside of class, not for an essay, not for a research paper, but simply for the sheer joy of writing. However, I held myself back by waiting for inspiration to hit, waiting for a topic to write about to come to mind. As a result, my writings gradually became less regular, and I had a few dry spells (spanning months, even a year at one point).

This past August, when I returned to Japan from several months in Washington, I resolved to write regularly once again. This has turned out to be an almost daily routine, and has been one of my best decisions. I have realized that I do not need to have some perfect topic in mind before I sit down to write--sometimes I simply need to sit down and write to think through my day, to work out a problem I'm dealing with, to express what's on my mind or on my heart.

Writing daily forces me to hold onto the thoughts that pass through my head as I bike to and from school (which is the quiet time in my day when I tend to do the best thinking). It pushes me to acknowledge my struggles and my limitations, to count through my many blessings, to strive to know God better and to seek Him first in all that I do. Well-intentioned thoughts can enter my head and then vanish without a trace the instant something else distracts me. Writing sees those thoughts committed to print. That doesn't instantly make me a better person--they are still just thoughts on a page. It does, however, serve as a reminder: "Oh wow... I did say I'd try to do this or I'd work on improving that, or I'd strive toward this goal, and man, I haven't been doing a good job at all." No, writing itself doesn't make me a better person, but it does hold me accountable in a way that simply thinking does not.

To fall short of the standards that I think but never say makes me an invisible hypocrite... sometimes so invisible that even I do not recognize my hypocrisy. To fall short of the standards that I write down for the world (and myself) to see makes me a visible hypocrite. Well, I've got news for you: Since I started writing, I'm increasingly becoming a visible hypocrite (never mind--you already knew that). That said, knowing this truth myself is a motivation to do better, to be better, to pursue what I know to be ideal, what I know to be true, what I know to be good (and most of all to pursue the Source of those things!).

Writing helps me to sort out what I truly value: what I consider important, who I want to be, where I want to go in life (and the reverse of all of those values as well). Writing tells the world that I am committed to those goals, and involves my readers as witnesses to my commitment. Now, readers--don't worry, that's not a legal title, nor does it involve any real work on your part. For me, simply knowing that people have read what I've written challenges me to follow through (and to be more prompt in admitting when I do not follow through).

Most of all, writing is how I seek to bring glory to my God and King. I'll admit, I get a little cocky about my writing ability at times. Then, I'll read something truly beautiful or profound that someone else has written, and it humbles me to the core... this happens a lot. There are so many people out there who put words together in a far more graceful and thoughtful way than I could. God has given me the ability to write not so that I can glorify myself, but so that I can glorify Him. It's when I am writing as an act of worship that my words take flight... if any other purpose is driving my writing, it looks a bit greasy (shiny, but you'd feel gross if you'd chewed on those words yourself). Sometimes (like tonight), I just need to take a step back and reflect on my motives and the thought process that goes into my writing.

Ack. Writing about writing about writing. I've gotten so meta that even I'm getting lost. So, I'll leave it at that. I'll close with these words from Psalm 19:14... this is my earnest prayer for my use of words:

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart

be pleasing in your sight,

O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

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