One of the greatest joys of my life is writing. If you follow this blog, you will know this is not my only joy; but it is one that creates an overflow of blessing for my life and through my life. I do not write primarily because I think I have world-transforming profundity that society desperately needs to get its act straight or stave off moral annihilation. (That is, however, the danger of blogging, editorializing, or occupying the desk of a talk radio guru.) This quote probably describes best the reason that I write:
‘Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.” – Isaac Asimov
I write because God gave me a mind and I was taught literally from the time I could walk that it was necessary to use it. My mother, God rest her soul, probably coined the phrase, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” (Not really, but she could have.)
While still in early elementary school I was writing stories and comic books, along with some plays that our neighborhood theater troupe would perform before a crowd of one, a favorite teacher. Later, of course, I would write academically; an absolute necessity for any college bound young person.
But even before I had graduated from college, I was writing a column for The Dickinsonian, my school’s newspaper and articles for two church denominational publications, The Gem and The Church Advocate. In the latter area, Dr. J.A. Parthemore, affectionately known as “Jack” was constantly fanning into flame what he believed was a gift–writing.
There’s a lot more to my writing resume, but that’s not the point of this piece. I write because I think. I firmly believe in the words of the Apostle Paul that life-transformation comes through the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:1-2). The ability to think in depth, reflectively, creatively, and consistently is part of what it means to be created in the image of God.
This does not mean that every thing I think is worth writing about. Some thoughts are better left unshared and some thoughts are really thoughtless. But for me, not to observe, not to reflect, not to process, and not to share – i.e., not to think — is a dishonoring of one of the most precious gifts that God gives humanity.
A friend of mine, Doug Nolt, while a campus minister, kept a sign on his door: “”Jesus came to take away your sins, not your mind.” I believe that in part, my salvation comes from knowing the Truth that sets us free. Knowing it and growing by an ever deepening understanding and application of it in my life.
I now write primarily by computer–a blessing to me because my fingers type faster than I write. And a blessing to my administrative assistants who declare I took handwriting from a medical school and probably graduated summa cum obscura. But more importantly, I write because I think–and to be honest, what I learn, I love (and yes, at times, feel compelled) to share. And when I write, I often write with this prayer in mind:
“Lord, help me to be the blessing I am blessed to be.” (I learned that one from a profound Christian writer and teacher, Jill Briscoe).
(C) 2013 by Stephen L Dunn
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