Why in the World Would Anyone Want to Be a Poet – Part 2

          Why in the world would anyone want to be a poet? First off, if I remember correctly, except for Robert Frost and William Shakespeare, few poets ever made enough money to pay the bills much less support a family. So why would anyone choose to write poems? Secondly, who even reads anything anymore, except text messages or social media posts. But here are three reasons you just might make the crazy choice to write anyway.

  1. It is For God’s Glory –   Because, whatever you do, eating or drinking or anything else, everything should be done to bring glory to God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 Phillips

When we think of poetry and more specifically about ourselves as poets, we figure that our job is somehow different and more important than that of plumbers or housekeepers. But the Bible makes no such differentiation. All of us have the obligation to communicate through our work, the glory of God. Think of work like home remodeling One person installs the sink and countertops while another cleans it up as if Jesus were getting ready to cook a gourmet meal there. All of us are expected to get our job done for a specific purpose and with all the excellence we are capable of.

2)We have a simple story we are dying to tell –  But I am afraid that even as the serpent beguiled Eve by his cunning, your minds may be corrupted and led astray from the simplicity of your pure devotion to Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:18 AMP

During the 1700’s there was a small religious group called the Shakers who had an impact on our culture far beyond the few communities they founded. In 1848, Joseph Brackett, one of their leaders wrote a song titled Simple Gifts.

Tis a gift to be simple, tis a gift to be free

Tis a gift to come down to where we ought to be

Most of us can use a bit of that advice before we start to write. Sadly, entire library shelves (Not to mention websites) are filled with unread dusty volumes of dense impenetrable words. While these may be of some value to a few rare souls, if our desire is to communicate to a wider audience then we might need to follow the advice posted on our daughter-in-law’s refrigerator:

Simplify – Throw everything out!

3)It is within the city limits of what God gave us to do

Neither do we go beyond our limits by boasting of work done by others…2 Corinthians 10:15 ESV

To our modern way of thinking any sort of limit simply restricts our horizons and denies us the ability to reach our full potential. But Paul reveals that the secret of His effectiveness and success was precisely because he willingly and joyfully worked within the limits that God had chosen for him. The news flash from the Bible is that we are not called to reach everyone, but we have the chance to reach someone. For me that someone, who is like one of my own grandchildren. I usually keep a picture in my mind of one of their faces whenever I am writing (And rewriting, then chopping it down some more!)

So do you best for God’s glory, simply be yourself and rejoice in the city limits he has given you to live!

Questions From a Writer’s Journal

I find as I grow older that I still don’t know the answers to the questions that I had when I was younger but am more at peace with not knowing. But I am discovering along the way that the Holy Spirit is helping me to begin asking some of the right questions.

I thought it might be helpful for others who also for one reason or another enjoy putting words together. If you are a Christian writer then we share a struggle with questions that are unique to that calling. Why am I writing? What are my motivations and goals? Money? Notoriety? Guilt? Loneliness? If we had x-ray vision and could see into hearts we might find out that some books we enjoyed reading have been born from motivations we never imagined. This morning I was touched when I came across this passage from the Apostle Paul as he invites us to look over his shoulder and peer into his writer’s heart.

Take a moment and let his words sink in and then ask yourself as I did today; “Are my words really born out of my own tears and personal experience? Do I really care about my readers or am I simply vying for their attention? Do I have a heart of love for my readers and are my goals for their good or is it all about me?”

Those are hard questions but I am convinced that finding the answers is more than worth the time and effort. What about you? What kinds of questions are you struggling with today? May you truly have a blessed week as you seek the Lord and write as He gives you stories to tell and words to say.

My Mother the Bat and Being a Disciple

But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. Matthew 13:16 KJV

Being a disciple means being a learner, and I learned from my mother that you can’t be afraid if you want to learn something new. As a science-fiction writer, she always was learning something new and doing a lot of research so that her books would be as accurate as possible. Her second published novel was about a planet whose people were blind and got around like bats using a radar like sense. This really impressed my eight-year-old imagination and got me wondering what it would be like to just listen like a bat to what was around me.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Then one day as I was playing in the woods behind our house, I found a real live bat hanging upside down and sleeping a few off the ground on a tree trunk. Excitedly I ran home, found an empty peanut butter jar, then scooped up the bat, slid the lid over the top of the jar and raced home. I couldn’t wait to show mom! When I ran into the house letting the screen door slam behind me, Mom put down what she was doing and came in just as I flipped the jar upside down and dumped the bat on her kitchen table, shouting, “Look mom! A real bat!” Most women back in those days would have either run away screaming or they would have picked up a broom to send the poor bat into eternity. But not my mom! Because she wanted to learn more, she was just as excited as I was to watch our sleepy friend as he stretched his feet and slowly started crawling across the table. That memory got me to wondering how ready any of us are for what God has in store. The only way to be ready is to be in His word every day. Then when a bat is dumped on our table ,  we’ll be excited to learn all about it instead of running away. That new thing God is bringing us is exactly what we need for the story He is writing in our life today.