Thursday, August 28, 2008

Passing the Torch - Shepherd

Here it is – my turn to blog again. What can I say that has not already been said more engagingly by someone else? Inspired by those who have blogged before me, I can share my own reasons for hope and for joy. These are unique.

Like Linda Wegner, I am seized by the value of gratitude. For many years now I have been keeping a gratitude journal. Part of the discipline of my daily prayer time in the early morning, includes completing one full page of subjects for gratitude in my journal. The format is a written prayer, but prayer that is limited to expressions of gratitude. I mostly follow my rules, but on occasion have found myself inadvertently beseeching divine help for some subject that is weighing heavily on my spirit. As a corrective, as I read over what I have written, I turn the request into a confident phrase acknowledging with gratitude that the Author and Finisher of my faith already knows all about the situation and is at work. I have been amazed how this exercise has spilled over into my attitudes and infiltrated my thinking.

Sometimes I find reasons for gratitude in the most unexpected places. As a writer, I had a unique occasion for rejoicing this summer. The privilege was mine to conduct a creative writing workshop with young people from ages fourteen to eighteen. My husband and I were part of the faculty of a Music and Gospel Arts Camp for teens. When the request came to me to facilitate a workshop on creative writing for those teens that selected this art form as their option, I warmed to the challenge. Submerging myself in my writing books for material, I was able to prepare several writing exercises for the young people to work on during out daily hour together. What amazed me was the skill level of these young people. They need to polish their craft, but I found their ideas and skill in expressing them really exciting. Their creative imagination blew me away. I did not have to tell them to show and not tell. They did a masterful job of it. I was so thrilled about their writing gifts that I have decided to try and mentor them and so help them become published authors. This is not entirely altruistic. I expect that I will improve myself as a writer, by reading their offerings.

My week with these young writers led me to some firm convictions. We need to read what these young people are writing. We need to help them to learn all the technicalities about getting published. Most of all we need to value their voices. If we don’t, I am sure the Enemy would delight to perverting their gifts for his evil purposes.

These are Christian young people, yet I find that they have not drawn such a solid line as we have between the sacred and the secular. I can see them equally at home sharing their message in the mainstream media as in Christian publications. They seem to have that awareness that God is in everything. As, with our encouragement, they learn to attune their hearts to Him, they will better be able to share what He is saying to them with their peers and with us. Then, I think plenty of fodder will be available for us to fill our gratitude journals.

1 comment:

Linda Wegner said...

Thanks for your endorsement of my blog, Eleanor - it was most appreciated.

As I've said before, comments are not posted to stroke egos or throw darts, they are a method in which to support and endorse our writing say nothing of modeling gratitude to the author for the effort involved in writing them.

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