write it down
it’s worth the struggle
Writing is hard work. Sometimes it is fun—sometimes the words just flow. But much of the time, it’s something we shy away from. Even those of us who “think” we have the gift don’t really utilize it the way we should. (Or maybe I am presumptuously speaking for others. That easily could be the case.)
It is a spiritual practice, even for those who don’t find anything necessarily spiritual. Maybe that’s the part in which it is work. Nothing worth having comes easily, so I’ve heard.
When I was in seminary, I remember telling one of my roommates I thought my genre for writing was the sermon. It’s not a bad way to express one’s thoughts, the sermon. The problem with a sermon is the manuscript is but the first part of the process, the work. (There’s that word again.) Part of the process to bring it to fruition is, of course, in the preaching. Speaking for myself—and this time I don’t believe I am presumptuous in speaking for others—is the understanding that the words on a page or the text on a screen which we believe are eloquent expositions often fall flat. Conversely, something we consider sub-par becomes a sermon which really moves the hearer.
Could it be our efforts are nothing without the Holy Spirit? Imagine.
And yet, maybe that’s the point. Writing that isn’t intended to be delivered to a living, hopeful audience, such as a poem or a short story, is nonetheless empowered by the Spirit. Or if that’s too bold or too obnoxious a way to put it, perhaps we can speak of the creative impulse—an impulse which should not be denied!
Still, my proclamation that “my genre for writing” is the sermon seems a bit pretentious—and lazy, I would say. It is in stretching oneself that gifts and abilities continue to be revealed and released. So much of life demands transcending the boundaries we foolishly self-impose. What do we deny our contemporaries and posterity by hiding our light?
How have our lives been enriched by those who dared to expose themselves to the fire within? Will future generations be grateful to us for doing the same? And here’s a question: does our work—do our lives—mean any less if we live in obscurity? After all, the overwhelming vast majority of the human race have lived as such. Is there something that (or who) takes all of our love, our best intentions, and provides a completion we couldn’t imagine?
Maybe we should work on that.