Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Selfishness (02/14/05)
TITLE: Pass It On
By Debbie OConnor
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In a heartbeat I knew His answer. “That’s right Emily, you aren’t like them, but you are the only you.”
The one and only me. The thought echoed relentlessly in my mind.
“I want my writing to glorify You,” I fretted. “Yet, I’ve hidden it for most of my life. Why?”
Other than the writing I did for my high school newspaper and a singles newsletter years ago, almost no one had seen my work. On rare occasions I’ve shared tidbits with those who are closest to me, but my fear of their reaction was so great that I’d rarely let them tell me what they thought. I’d shrug it off, change the subject, hide.
I am selfish, I realized. My writing has been all about me.
That moment was my turning point. I found an outlet and started sharing. I entered the Faithwriter’s Writing Challenge and was received warmly. It felt good to have others read what I wrote. It was easier to have people I didn’t know respond to my work in writing than it was to receive praise or criticism in person.
I made friends. I found people who are compelled to write even more constantly than me! People who don’t think being physically attached to a laptop computer is strange. We helped each other and laughed together. I gained confidence. And, of course, I wanted to win!
Weeks went by and it finally happened. I placed in the Challenge! It was so good to be recognized. I had arrived! I had found my style…my niche. The future was grand and glorious before me. My dream of being published had come true. Surely this was the beginning of a brilliant career. It was still all about me.
Many weeks went by without further recognition. I got nice comments, but I wanted to win. All about me…
I began doubting my ability. My friends were probably only leaving nice comments on my work because they like me. I could see them rolling their eyes while they read, maybe even wishing I’d quit. I’m not poetic like Kelly or funny like Andie. And my fiction…well, let’s just say it’s rough. I should run, hide, bury my talent so no one can laugh at my ignorance.
Well, that would be okay if it were all about me.
"Then the man who had received the one talent came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.'
His master replied, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.’” Matthew 25:24-27
That’s the thing. It’s not just about me.
God is interested in my well-being. He loves me dearly and has great plans for my life. “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
However, God is also looking for his investment in me to bear fruit. He’s looking for interest. And the interest isn’t money or prizes or applause. The interest is changed lives. His children finding hope, encouragement, direction, truth, and above all, love.
So I’m here. I’m vulnerable. I give you my little gift with all my heart. God gave it to me so that I would give it to you. Pass it on.
NIV All names have been changed.
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