Several days ago, my daughter was giving me a difficult time about all the effort I have been putting into this blog. I had been telling her how excited I was that I now had five “subscribers”. In her usual direct way, she asked me: “Why do you care, Mom?” She recently started her own blog. A number of her friends at school also have blogs, primarily as a vehicle for their college essays and other writings. I have been “bugging” her (nicely, of course) to start a blog and do the same (which she finally did over Christmas break). She succinctly told me that she did not care if she had any subscribers or even if most people read her posts.
I was forced to think about it. Why did I care? Why should I care?
Initially this blog started out in obedience to what I felt God was leading me to do. The concept of writing about my thoughts and feelings and putting them in a format where others, and who knows what others, could read them, was terrifying. By nature, I am a very private person. I have internalized my stoic Scandinavian and Germanic heritage well. Strong emotions expressed by those I don’t know make me extremely uncomfortable.
In the beginning, I hoped that no one would read this blog. If I could have fulfilled the task without the risk of anyone reading what I had written, I would have been happy. Each post was a lesson in trust and faith. What if someone blasted me for what I had written, as I have seen in the comments section of other blogs? What if they called me (or intimated that I was) an idiot? How could I survive having to admit that I agreed with them?
With each post, I noticed a surprising thing happening. I began to care. I began to care that, not only what I had written was the best that I could write, but I began to care that others read it. I took a bold step (for me) and had this blog linked to my Facebook page and my meager list of “friends.” As each new post popped up for everyone to read, I waited to see if anyone would “like” it.
One of my daughter’s good friends has been a real inspiration to me. He considers himself called to be a writer (and I would agree with him). Through his blog I have watched and read as he has honed his craft. The honesty and courage with which he has revealed himself, and what is in his heart, through his writing has been a real encouragement to me (he is also reserved). I began to believe that if he could do this, maybe I could too.
Which brings me back to my daughter’s question: Why should I care? I realized that I care for a couple of reasons. When you put a lot of time and effort into something, you hope that someone will appreciate your efforts. But more importantly, I wanted to effect change and bring encouragement. I wanted to take my experiences and have others know that God would lead them through, no matter how difficult the circumstances.
A little over ten years ago, my father put together two three-ringed binders of essays that he had written. These essays are my family history in anecdotal form. As I was writing the post about music, I went searching through his essays to clarify my facts. I began to read and was amazed at what I found. I had forgotten what a precious gift these essays are. With his usual sense of humor he had related stories of his growing up years, how he met and married my mother, and his thoughts on a number of his life experiences.
My father is getting up in years and it is an unfortunate fact of life that he will not walk on this earth forever. When he slips from his mortal body to walk into the arms of His Savior, I will have him with me every time I read his words. His personality jumps off of every page. This legacy is a wonderful blessing to me and will be passed down to my daughter and to each generation as a reminder of their heritage.
I believe that deep within every one of us is the desire to make a difference, a desire to leave something of eternal value. So much of what we do in our every day lives doesn’t accomplish this. Through out history it is the written word that has survived. Clearly, the written word is important to God. He gave us His Word as a compass and guide for our lives. His Word will survive for all eternity. It is His Word that communicates to us His thoughts, His character, and His plans for us.
Do I believe that anyone will really care what I have written ten years, fifty years, or one hundred years from now? No, I don’t. I am not a writer, nor do I pretend to be. What I do care about is that what I write here will be what I feel He has led me to write. If I do that, if I am obedient to what I believe He has asked me to say, then it is my desire someone will be helped to see their life experiences in a different light; that they will be encouraged to hope and keep walking forward into this marvelous adventure that is the Christian life.
It isn’t so much that I believe I have something important to say. It is that I believe He has something important to say. And for whatever reason, He has chosen this imperfect platform as one of the small ways in which to do that. That is why I care. It is a very humbling revelation.
“The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of a fool pours forth foolishness. Proverbs 15: 2 (NKJV)
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