Do you remember “journaling time” in school? Or maybe it was called “free writing”... I remember being given a thin, dull-white piece of paper with pink and blue lines, and a chunky pencil, and told to write something in fifteen minutes that would later be reviewed by my teacher. The memory feels like first grade, but I can’t be sure. We were allowed to write about anything- a new toy, a story we made up, something that made us sad, what we wanted to be when we grew up. Most days, I loved it. But some days, there were just no good thoughts in my head. Still, I had to fill that piece of paper. On more than one occasion, my work looked something like this:
I am writing to take up space.
I have to use all the lines, so I am writing these words to take up space on the paper.
I can’t think of anything to write about except that I have nothing to write about.
You get the idea. I thought it was a clever way to solve my problem, but I don't think Mrs. Collins agreed.
Sometimes, I still feel that way about writing. I “need” to write a blog because it’s been a while, yet I don't want to write words just for the sake of writing words. I want them to be meaningful. Now, I pray for guidance and trust that the right words will be there at the "write" time.
I think about those writing assignments often- how the paper ripped when I was over-zealous with the eraser, how intimidating those solid and dotted lines could be. Mostly, the image of that familiar paper reminds me how I don't want to live. I don't want to live the way I wrote, when the inspiration wouldn't come. I don't want to live just to take up space. God, help me to be more than a consumer of oxygen in this earth. Help me to produce something meaningful and beautiful with the resources I've been given.
James 4:14 says, "whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away." There is a finite amount of lines on the page and pencils eventually get sharpened to nubs. We must be mindful to make the writing assignment of life more than vain words.
Write a good story. Fill the lines on the page well. Don't live just to fill the space between the margins of birth and death. Actively seek to do good, remembering James 4:17: "Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin." One day, the Teacher will review our work. May it be our best effort, with His help.
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Thank you for visiting my blog. I share devotional articles and musings about life, parenting, and the writing journey, as well as important news about my books. I hope you find something of interest here!
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