“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalm 139: 13, 14).
A small step in my writing life was not the often-termed “one step at a time.” My small step was more of a “toe step at a time.” I had to learn when I was young to make my way in the world by going to school. As an introvert I would rather keep my distance from the world. During my years at school, both elementary and high school, my world was loud and crowded. A lot of my peers were loud, aggressive and emotionally draining. Crowds were not and are not my scene.
In a twist of irony my first “toe step” of my writing was when in my first year of high school I had to present an oral report to my class. First I had to write the report then, to my horror, I had to read it in front of my class of peers. I remember trying to convince my teacher that this was something I didn’t want to do. He didn’t agree. I had to do it, shaky knees and all! I’m not kidding about the shaky knees!
While I was presenting my report I was standing by the teacher’s desk and I kept hearing a tap-tap-tap noise. My teacher politely said, “Alan, perhaps you could step back a bit from the desk.” To my amazement the tapping stopped right away. “Oh boy,” I thought to myself, “I was the one doing the tapping!” I don’t remember what the report was about. All I remember is the tapping.
There have been many toe steps since that nerve-wracking experience. Over the years my toe steps have indeed included a number of full steps. These full steps all surround the growth in my love for writing. Certainly, I guess due to my cautious nature, most of my steps have been small.
When I put these small steps together I see a lot of ground has been covered. This includes fifteen years of pastoral ministry and a whole bunch of sermons written. With writing then preaching the sermons I was taught by God’s people about encouragement and rejection. Rejection is not failure. It is an aid to growth for us as writers.
It has taken me literally decades to accept that God “knit me together” to be a writer. Even while in my mother’s womb, I was being formed by God for a purpose. It has been approximately forty-eight years since I heard the “tapping” from my class report. The tapping has turned to praising. Praising the One who gave me the gift of writing one "toe step at a time!"