As I read this month's theme about working on projects that make your heart sing, I grimaced. I know that real writers are supposed to engage with their craft daily, even wrote a post about it almost eleven years ago. Yet here I am all these years later, still wrestling with the writing commitment. Is it that writing doesn't make my heart sing? Real writers don't seem to struggle as I do, no matter what life circumstances seem to come their way.
I recently finished reading Bob Goff's book, Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World. The book's description reads, "What fuels his impact? Love. But it's not the kind of love that stops at thoughts and feelings. Bob's love takes action. Bob believes Love Does."
Now, after reading the book, I can tell you Bob has lived a wildly incredible life so far. He tells some pretty amazing stories of people he's met, places he's been, lessons he's learned, lives that have been changed as a result of influence God has allowed him to have. And Bob does have an advantage over most of us, or at least over me, seeing as he has the resources of a successful law practice to support his activities (money, networks, flexibility, etc.). Still, the encouragement of Love Does is that whether we bring a little or a lot to the table, we can all do something.
At the end of his book Bob asks,
What's your next step? I don't know for sure, because for everyone it's different, but I bet it involves choosing something that already lights you up. Something you already think is beautiful or lasting and meaningful. Pick something you aren't just able to do; instead, pick something you feel like you were made to do and then do lots of that. You weren't just an incredible idea that God never got around to making. The next step happened for the world when God dropped you on the planet. You're here and I'm here. God decided to have us intersect history, not at just any time, but at this time. He made us to be good at a few things and bad at a couple others. He made us to love some things and not like others. Most of all, He made us to dream. We were meant to dream a lot. We're not just a cosmic biology experiement that ended up working. We're part of God's much bigger plan for the whole world. Just like God's Son arrived here, so did you. And after Jesus arrived, God whispered to all of humanity... 'It's your move.' Heaven's been leaning over the rails in the same way ever since you got here, waiting to see what you'll do with your life.
Of course we're not going to impact the world to the degree that Jesus did. After all, He saved the world, or at least those who would believe and receive and make Him Lord of their lives. Still, as Bob suggests, we were made uniquely for a purpose only we can fulfill.
What lights you up? What lights me up? In spite of the "obstacles" (a part-time day job, caring for my elderly mother who would not appreciate being called "elderly," helping young adult children navigate their lives), I do feel that writing is a thing (the thing?) I was made to do. And even though it's sometimes challenging making time to write even this monthly blog post, I'm glad I haven't shirked the "duty" (most months anyway) since writing my first post in September 2011 (see link in paragraph one above). While some themes bring a grimace, they still prompt the stimulation of grey matter, and that is very much needed. "Use it or lose it" as the saying goes. Or, "no pain, no gain."
Now I need to find a project (in addition to writing for Inscribe Writers Online) that makes my heart sing...
For more about Susan Barclay and her writing, please visit www.susan-barclay.blogspot.com