I write because I want to change the world.
Before blogs, before the internet was even conceived, I was writing — journals, poetry, prayers, thoughts. I figured that to write a book that could change the world I needed to practice, to work toward that goal — and blogging seemed a perfect venue. I didn’t write fiction, though I anticipate writing such a book. I didn’t intend to write stories. But my life — in stories — is what my blog has become.
Sometimes my blog tells the stories of lessons I’ve learned, mistakes I’ve made, people honored, memories valued, sorrows endured, joys treasured, or laughter shared. I love stories. I love how they stick. I think the sticky stories can change the world.
Stories make me smile. Laugh out loud. Remember. Gasp. Relate. Feel. Cry. Stories touch my heart. Stories stick. Sticky stories move me to change.
I named my blog “All Things Work Together” — based on my favorite Scripture verse, Romans 8:28, which says:
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (NASB).
Funny remembrance, that choosing of a favorite Scripture verse those many years ago. I had spent a summer in Wildwood, NJ, with more than 60 other college students from all over the United States, learning to share my faith as we lived together and worked in the community those three months. On our final night together, we went to the beach to release a message in a bottle — the message was the gospel plus the favorite memory verse of every single one of us on this project.
I didn’t have one.
My friend Cindy reminded me of Romans 8:28, and, obediently, I wrote it down, word for word. I never forgot it again. It has become my life verse.
A short time later I married a man I’d met on that project. Too short a time after that, he died, unexpectedly. Surprisingly, I found that God could make good things happen even in the midst of great sorrow. A few years later, I saw God work in amazing ways — again bringing joy and gladness from sorrow and mourning. He brought a widower and his four children into my life; that in itself is a story that sticks. When we planned our wedding, Romans 8:28 was our theme. Indeed, we saw how God had made something beautiful, something good from devastation and despair. I have learned to trust that God can work all things together for good for those that love Him. I love Him.
I see the world through God-colored glasses. While I am an optimist, it is because I believe God’s promises are true. I don’t believe in “separation of church and state” or a dividing line between what is considered secular and spiritual. To me, it is one giant package of God’s design. God’s good design.
So is my life, recorded in stories on my blog. I hope you find they touch your heart, make you laugh, and stick with you. And maybe, just maybe, change your world. If only for a moment. (I’ll let you know when I’ve written that book.) 🙂
- What’s the problem?
- What’s the solution?
- What’s the next step?
He gives his beautifully written 900-word manifesto as an example (along with The Declaration of Independence, Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, and The Communist Manifesto). Dare I admit I’m a bit intimidated?
“A manifesto,” Jeff says, “is a short, shareable document that makes an argument, that tells the world what you’re about. It’s something that picks a fight, makes a stand, gets people to stand up and say ‘yes I agree with this’ or ‘no way!’.”
Hmm…. when I speak my mind, I follow it with an apology, so much so that when I spouted off my thoughts in the pool area a few weeks ago, my friend Connie told everyone I’d be writing a blog post apologizing for it later. I tend to be a peacemaker, not a fighter. Though I have been called a “rabble rouser,” it was in jest. I smooth the waters; I don’t ruffle feathers. Write a manifesto that picks a fight? Me?
Jeff’s point is that we clarify our message, that we know what we are about (which is what I was hoping to clarify d-u-r-i-n-g this 7-day challenge… not proclaim on Day 1).
But in accordance with my peacemaker ways, I am also a people pleaser. So obey Jeff, I must, and he said, “Begin by focusing your message on what you’re about and why it matters…”
How did I do?