I was awakened early again this morning. No alarm – my eyes just opened. My brain was processing some things and I was attempting to formulate something to write. Various titles and topics came to mind, but none of the contents. I’d get through maybe one to two sentences and just… stop. Everything would go blank. None of it was REAL substance and it’s like things were just blocked. You can guess that was pretty frustrating for me. Why do I have nothing to write? I have all these things on my heart, but the words just aren’t coming – why?!
Then it came to my mind… Brittney, who are you “writing” for?
I put writing in quotations for various reasons, but I’ll get into that later. The question above brought on various other questions along with trying to determine it’s answer. Am I writing for me? Am I writing for my family? Am I writing for my friends, strangers, the public reader? Search engines? Who?… the reality of my heart check was that I’ve been “writing” lately for everyone other than the One who compels me to write in the first place. It’s no wonder it’s been difficult for me to consistently write these days… I keep trying to come up with my own “good topics” or pertinent material. I can see the difference when God does something in my heart, or when I try to produce something myself.
Words cannot always penetrate the heart. Words themselves cannot change a person or the world. It is the force behind them that more determines that. If my “force” is from me and my own ideas, there’s a less likely chance that my words will do anything, in my opinion. Jesus needs to saturate my words (written or oral). He’s the Person I should be writing for. He needs to be my resource. Since by myself, I’m not clever enough to come up with awesome material. Sure, I could write a book and many people do write books straight from their own ideas. But personally, I just really can’t seem to write worth anything on my own.
A picture came to mind after the “who are you writing for?” question (not a literal picture, but I’m having difficulty finding the word for it). I thought: if everything I ever say, write, or do were to be written out in a big transcript and like a huge novel – what would it really look like? Who would have written it? Who would it have been written for?
I’m a bit of a weirdo so I often imagine my life and the lives of those around me as a novel series or a movie script being played out (with musical scores and everything – yessss!). And that if someone were to read it or see it on a big screen, what would that look like? What affect would it have? How would it be reacted to? Who would read/watch it? Would the reader/viewer see the writer in it or just the characters playing out their roles? What would be the purpose of it? What are the motivations and goal? It would certainly have plenty of plot, intrigue, character, emotion, mystery, suspense, tragedy, action and adventure, etc. It would have different themes or backdrops and the character(s) would be taken through various events and scenes to show conflict and changes, maybe even a few defining moments to develop the story line. Relationships, dialogue, some sweet narration by James Earl Jones, different scene paces, and lessons. Just your overall basic novel series or movie showing one’s journey.
I take my imagination a step further and think of heaven… in my head, I imagine that my imagination of a novel/movie is not that much of a stretch. We’ll likely have these things played out in front of us like a movie or read out like a novel (maybe not literally but figuratively). Anything I’ve ever said, done, and not done – will be right there in front of me. Everything seen and unseen. Motives, thoughts, good or evil. I won’t like all of the novel, I’m sure. It’s like if you’re reading or watching a movie, you get frustrated at a character for not “seeing” what’s right in front of them and changing their ways. Or you’re like ‘NO, don’t talk to yourself while you’re alone – everybody knows that’s just asking for a bear attack!’ ‘don’t listen to what he’s saying – he doesn’t really love you!’ ‘how could you do that?!’ ‘how could they do that to them?!’. You can almost see inside a character and understand them, but as the reader or viewer you aren’t omniscient – the writer will always know something more about the character that you don’t, even if they did well in portraying it in the novel or movie.
Ok, so a little off topic there… but hopefully you get my point? Or maybe I’m just nuts and none of this is making any sense.
The point is… the more I go through life, the more I understand what a terrible writer I am of my own story. The more I understand of the Lord and what I read in His word (with all the interesting real-life-novel-like stories!) the more I can see the wondrous differences between a God-written story and a self-written story. And the differences between writing for Him versus writing for myself.
The awesome thing about the Lord is though, that He’s not just the writer/author… He’s also the story-boarder, director, “camera guy”, casting director, composer, publisher/producer, visual effects guy/illustrator, marketer and editor – basically every role in movie-making or novel-creating. We’re not just the characters/actors though… God gave us the free will to step into the author, story-boarder, director, illustrator, producer, composer, etc roles. I’m just finding out more and more that I’m better at just following His lead – He’s a much better writer and director of my life. Independent film-making is just not my forte and certainly not my cup-of-tea. He’s way better at all of it!
I read something in my devotional this morning as well that I want to now share:
For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. – 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
“Paul said that he was gripped by the love of God and that is why he acted as he did. People could perceive him as mad or sane-he did not care. There was only one thing he lived for— to persuade people of the coming judgment of God and to tell them of “the love of Christ.” This total surrender to “the love of Christ” is the only thing that will bear fruit in your life. And it will always leave the mark of God’s holiness and His power, never drawing attention to your personal holiness.” – My Utmost for His Highest (Feb 4th)
I think that people assume that no longer living for themselves is somehow losing their independence. Well, yes, that’s exactly what it is – for me anyway. I think that’s why ‘becoming a Christian’ is such a weighty decision and not one you take lightly and assume that just going to church makes up the difference. I’m not your typical American 21st century Christian. I don’t want to pursue happiness or good things for my life, move out at 18 because society says so, go to college because that’s what’s considered ‘getting your life going’ by the vast majority, go to church on Sundays and Wednesdays, pursue a career or get a ‘good’ job, just buy a home, get married, settle down with 2.5 kids, work for 45 years from 9-5… etc. Nothing necessarily wrong with those, I could end up doing half of them and I certainly don’t judge anyone who’s done or will do them. That’s up to them and their walk with God. I just don’t want to pursue those or live for myself in that regard. I want to pursue Christ! Live/be in total surrender and abandonment to His love, to bear that kind of fruit and live in whatever capacity is “written” for me – because He died for me and because of that reason and my decision to follow Him, I should no longer live for myself but daily live for Him. I’m an individual, but I don’t like independence in the sense of ruling my own life. I’ve never been much of an “independent” person, I just never saw the point in that. However, the one major decision I made myself (independently I did so, by jove – I didn’t consult anyone else on that decision and it was not made for me, that’s for sure!) was when I chose, at 17, to believe and follow a Man who died for me on a splintery Cross to redeem me from my sins. So I gave up my rights to myself, my independence and ability to write/script my own story. I daily have to remember this, my life is no longer my own. This was my independent decision to become dependent and actively self-denying for the sake of a Man most people think died 2,000+ years ago. So I look like insane or foolish, but don’t care how I look so long as I see Him one day. I don’t do this out of obligation, I WANT this life – His life! It is freedom beyond words, it is LIFE beyond the current status of living, it is the most romantic love story/novel ever – and I get to be in the movie-version, in real-time! ;)
I can’t forget this.
He writes my story for me, so I’ll write for Him back.