Thursday, May 03 2012
I am not sure anyone will read this blog, but it makes me feel useful to write it. At my core,I am a called minister of Christ to make disciples. I do evangelism, I share my faith, I preach and teach, but for those activities to take place I need encounters with people or to be invited by someone. The one thing I can do on my own is write. No one can stop me, I can say anything I want within my own rules of conduct and propriety. This urge to write stirred within only after becoming a Christian in 1967, prior to that, writing was a chore. When I stopped cheating in school I learned that I enjoyed reading and writing, in fact, I loved words. I would spend long hours studying the scriptures and taking copious notes, all on my own. I was frustrated by having to break out of my study sessions in order to attend class or to do conventional homework.
This independent streak of wanting to study on my own continued through four years of seminary.
I made a conscious decision then to become a pastoral writer rather than pursue formal doctoral studies. For me it was a good decision because I started writing articles and books. I must confess that the pastoral life was both a laboratory for my thoughts and a means for me to write. What gave me the most satisfaction as a pastor was finishing a book or writing a good sermon or even a Church newsletter. When I retired from the pastoral life ten years ago, a great deal of my identity was stripped away. I no longer had a staff, an institution to run, or a congregation for me to watch.
As I have gotten older I have found that less is more. I now write not because I must publish to validate myself, seventeen books have done that. I write because I need to, because I don't feel like I have accomplished anything in a day if I don't write. I could deliver two sermons, counsel several people in a day, but if I did not read and write, it is a missed opportunity. Writing is a calling, most people can't make a living at it, in fact, most don't get paid at all or get published. Daily I get positive feedback from around the world and that is encouraging. But what makes my days are not the awards, the money, or the invitations, it is writing and writing alone.