“Of the six million species on the planet, only man makes language. Words. What’s more – in evidence of the Divine – we string symbols together and then write them down, where they take on a life of their own and breathe outside of us.”
Charles Martin – Unwritten
What a beautiful thought: Words take on a life of their own and breathe outside of us.
“If you write for God you will reach many men and bring them joy. If you write for men–you may make some money and you may give someone a little joy and you may make a noise in the world, for a little while. If you write for yourself, you can read what you yourself have written and after ten minutes you will be so disgusted that you will wish that you were dead.”
If you’re running a 26-mile marathon, remember that every mile is run one step at a time. If you are writing a book, do it one page at a time. If you’re trying to master a new language, try it one word at a time. There are 365 days in the average year. Divide any project by 365 and you’ll find that no job is all that intimidating.
Come and join us over at the Wordserve WaterCooler where we are guest posting today to discuss some ideas about how we can get a good start for 2014. And a good start leads to a good finish, right?
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Henry Cloud tells a story. A scientist did a study on fear. He had a monkey in a cage. He wired the monkey with sensors and then scared the monkey. He could then measure the response of the monkey to fear and the monkey’s reaction went off the charts. He then began to explore what would lower the monkey’s stress and fear. The only answer: putting another monkey in the cage. The fear reactions were lowered by half.
Life takes courage! Writing and publishing take courage and we are thankful for others who are with us on the journey.
God has given us people to help us navigate our time here on earth without fear: spouses, friends, family, co-workers, even sisters.
Who is in your cage with you? It could make all the difference.
It seems a little pointless sometimes-putting together collections of words, sending them out into the void of the world. Does it matter?
I am moved by the words of Sara Groves in her song “Why It Matters”. The lyrics were inspired by Vedran Smajlović, a former cellist in the Sarajevo String Quartet. During the Siege of Sarajevo, he played his cello in the bombed out buildings and on the streets where mortars had killed his neighbors and friends. He called this “a protest of the darkness” and spoke of his cello as a weapon.
Our efforts of creating art and music and writing matter. We can send them out “as a protest of the darkness.” Or as Sara Groves writes we can see our efforts as “small ramparts for the soul”.
Like the statue in the park
Of this war torn town
And its protest of the darkness
And the chaos all around
With its beauty, how it matters
How it matters.
I am reminded that Beauty in the world combats evil and darkness. We have a choice to be part of that Beauty.
We have been reading Mark Batterson’s Draw the Circle, The 40 Day Prayer Challenge. We love stories and this one from Day 27 is inspiring:
For thirteen years I was a frustrated writer. I had a half-dozen half-finished manuscripts on my computer, but I couldn’t seem to finish a book. I started to think that the dream of writing a book might be nothing more than a mirage.
Finally when my level of frustration hit an all-time high, I decided to do a forty-day media fast out of desperation. That fast was the turning point in my career. I needed a breakthrough, but it took more than prayer; it took prayer plus fasting.
In the process, I found that my writing became a form of praying. I don’t type on a keyboard; I pray on it. And by the time I was done, I had completed my first self-published book.
Mark Batterson, Draw the Circle
What do you do when you are stuck? When we think of fasting we think of abstaining from food, but what about a media fast? Facebook? Twitter?
Follow the incredible journey of one piece of paper—a copy of Psalm 23—as it travels around the world, linking lives and hearts with its simple but beautiful message.The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures…
Shortly before a tragic car accident, Kate McConnell wrote down the powerful words of Psalm 23 on a piece of paper for her wayward son. Just before she loses consciousness, Kate wonders if she’s done enough with her life and prays, “Please, let my life count.”
Unbeknownst to Kate, her handwritten copy of Psalm 23 soon begins a remarkable journey around the world. From a lonely dry cleaning employee to a soldier wounded in Iraq, to a young Kurdish girl fleeing her country, to a Kenyan runner in the Rome Invitational marathon, this humble message forever changes the lives of twelve very different people. Eventually, Kate’s paper makes it back to its starting place, and she discovers the unexpected ways that God changes lives, even through the smallest gestures.
The Shepherd’s Song, published by Howard Books, will be released March 11, 2014.