To want to be a writer seems to be a very presumptuous thing to me. To author anything, be it a blog post, book, or even a twitter feed, is a rather arrogant undertaking. You are essentially saying, “I have had a thought that should be heard. Someone else needs to hear what I am thinking other than the me that walks the halls of my mind and heart.”
How is that not presumptuous or arrogant? Yet here I am, pen at the ready. Or more accurately, fingers at the keyboard.
We like to be made much of. We can crave the praise of man and feel driven to pursue acceptance and notice. I remember what it was like when several years ago a blogpost of mine was commented on and reposted by a well respected gentleman in our circle, a ministerial peer, if you will, of my husband. Man, I felt like I had arrived! Or when someone unexpected would engage with a post? That was like I had a feather in my cap.
That kind of pride or desire for that praise is one of the reasons I didn’t write/blog for a while. The lines of what motivated me became a bit blurry and I didn’t (and still don’t) want what could be a good thing to become nothing more than a narcissistic work of the flesh. It’s why I still come to it with a bit of hesitancy.
So, why am I here? How do I know it is okay for me to claim this part of the cyber world and to write? And further more to put it out there and invite you to read my thoughts?
When I was younger I would read that verse and envision a boisterous medieval style feast, colorful and loud with joy and merriment. Eating and drinking with no concern of gluttony or hangovers as long as a cup was raised in honor of the King and thanks was rendered. It meant that no task, no endeavor, was ever “too much” if it was done for and in the name of Christ.
That seems a wee bit foolish, doesn’t it? It would be easy to tack a “Cheers!” style attitude on to just about anything and call it good if that were true. No, doing all you do to the glory of God is not free reign to indulge as deeply and unconcernedly as we can because just a few verses prior to that admonition is the reminder that while all things may be lawful not all things are helpful.
What does it mean to glorify God in all that you do then? John Piper defines it like this, “Glorifying” means feeling and thinking and acting in ways that reflect his greatness, that make much of God, that give evidence of the supreme greatness of all his attributes and the all-satisfying beauty of his manifold perfections.”
That is my plumb line…it is what I put my writing up against and how I evaluate it. It’s how I take measure of every thought and action that I do and have. Does this ________________ accurately reflect the characteristics of my King? If someone comes across my words, or sees me cleaning my house, or practicing hospitality, managing my time, eating and drinking, if anything I do is seen by anyone , will they see God in it?
Is it okay, or lawful for me to write? Are my words gentle? Are they kind? Do they encourage and point people to Christ? Am I being obedient to what I should be writing or am I just flapping my chops, as the old timers used to say? If I can answer those questions correctly then let the words fly!
A lot of the reason I am more comfortable these days with wanting to write is because of of the books I have been reading and sermons I have been pondering, etc. One book in particular that sort of solidified things is You Who by Rachel Jankovic.
“We have a natural, God-given desire for glory, but it must have a healthy purpose. Glory to give, not glory to hoard. Glory to pass on. This bring tremendous freedom. We do not struggle to be glorious, but we struggle to give glory.”
It’s not just in being free to write because it is something I want to do. It’s about being free from trying to turn it into something. When the purpose in doing what we do is to glorify Him, is giving evidence of His greatness, then I can be content with what I’ve done. He is free to make as little or as much of it as He would like.
Living that way is truly living. All of our work becomes important. I do not need to search for meaning in my tasks or to over spiritualize washing dishes and doing laundry. I just do them joyfully, content to allow the glory of His provision, His restoration, to have their proper place and be revealed through my obedience in these mundane ordinary tasks.
Whatever you do, do as unto the Lord. I always took that verse to mean do your work like God is your boss. I’m wondering now if it might mean a little more than that. If it might also include a bit of doing as unto the Lord as reflecting back the work He has done and is doing? Less a do the work well because the Big Boss is watching but rather do the job well, no matter how simple or difficult, small or significant, because there is glory to give in that task?
Today is grocery shopping day. As the kids have gotten older and in school or able to be home alone I have settled into a rhythm and routine of doing that task in a quiet focused solitude. Today Sam and Claire will need to go with me. There will be no quiet solitude and my focus will be dancing all over the place because their focus will be doing the hokey pokey all over the place. I literally just stopped typing, reread that sentence and took a big bracing sip of coffee. That alone is enough to give me pause but we aren’t called to face our day with teeth gritted and a just get through it attitude.
The truth of the matter is that no matter what is on the agenda today for me or you, we can do it all to the glory of God. We should do it all to the glory of God.
And who knows? A trip to the grocery store with two of the biggest personalities in the house may yield a blog post or two 🙂