Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Manuscript (04/29/10)
TITLE: A Life Well-Written
By Sarah Heywood
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I am a reader. I have been in love with words since my preschool years when I taught myself to read. While my first grade classmates struggled to sound out the simple syllables that would describe Dick and Janeís antics, I had already read ahead and discovered that the sibling duo didnít get any more interesting as the reader progressed!
My childhood summers were spent curled up on my bed as I delighted in the antics of Nancy Drew, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Trixie Belden, and Heidi of the Switzerland Alps - just to name a few. By the time I was an adult I had consumed hundreds of books. When my brothers acted up, they got sent to their rooms. When I acted up, I lost my books! I didnít act up very often.
As an adult, my love affair with reading has continued. My husband has snorted in disgust more than once after he thought he was talking to me, only to discover that I had my nose buried in a book the entire time. I keep a book in nearly every room of the house and my chief luxury is my nightly bubble bath, reading material included!
So, itís not surprising that I tend to think in ďliteraryĒ terms. One thought Iíve had frequently over the years is about how I regard my life. When a new beginning occurs, Iíll comment, ďA new chapter has begun.Ē Just the same, when Iíve come to the end of a season of life, Iíll think in terms of, ďA chapter has ended.Ē Just like the books I devour, my life is a manuscript of sorts.
As I think about this manuscript of my life I canít help but ponder about how I want it to read. I have read some books that were so wonderful and convicting that I thought about them long after I had closed the back cover. A few I have read numerous times because they were so thought-provoking. Some inspired me to think differently and even to make some life changes. I want the manuscript of my life to be the same.
The beginning of my manuscript starts the same as everyone elseís, with the date and description of my birth. It will end the same as everyone elseís will, too, with the date of my death. But itís the pages between that will tell the story. My greatest desire is that when my story is read, my readers will see Jesus. There are numerous chapters in my manuscript as events changed in my life. There are sad parts of the book, exciting parts, a little adventure, and probably a bit too much drama. But through the changes, the constant factor has been my relationship with Christ and how He carried me through, chapter to chapter. This is my deepest desire as my manuscript is being written, day by day.
Thinking along these same lines, it also occurred me to me awhile ago that while my own life is a manuscript in the writing process, I am also writing four other pieces. You see, I am a mother and while my children are mine, particularly during their growing-up years, I am writing upon their lives. Ultimately, my children will be responsible for their own manuscript. But I like to think that they are also my message to future generations. As I ďwriteĒ upon my children - passing on my values, instilling character within them, training them to love and serve the Lord - I am influencing not only them, but their children and their childrenís children. It is an awesome responsibility and so often I wish I had a bigger ďeraserĒ for all the mistakes I have made along the way.
So what are you writing today? Will your manuscript be one that is a pleasant read, but perhaps one without a great deal of substance? Or will etched into every line be the story you want handed down to your descendents - the story of a life surrendered completely to the One who created it?
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