As I reflect on this 30th birthday of mine, I find that written words have really permeated it. From beginning to end, I have enjoyed the writings of others.
I began reading a new series of fiction today - The Wilderking Trilogy by Jonathan Rogers. The first book is The Bark of the Bog Owl. The premise is based on the story of King David, so you might say it isn't entirely original. But it retells his story in the form of a folk tale. I am only a few chapters in, and I have found it very much to my liking. It is the story of young Aidan Errolson, and how he finds out that the ancient prophecy of the Wilderking who will rule over the land of Corenwald is actually referring to him. Though he has dreamt of adventure and battle, he wasn't prepared for this. He asks Bayard the Truthspeaker, "How am I to become this great Wilderking?" His response was "Live the life that unfolds before you. Love goodness more than you fear evil." Pretty sound advice for any child of God, especially me.
One of the best presents I could have ever received was a folder of encouragement notes from many of my family and friends. Perhaps the thing that made my day the most was that some of them have actually read this blog and feel I can actually write, that they see the influence of the writings of Andrew Peterson and others on what I say and write. I don't feel I could ever paint pictures with words that these eloquent wordsmiths hammer out and produce from their furnaces, but I am blessed to know that I am at least following in the right footsteps.
I will finish with the greatest Word of all - The Word of God. I began studying the book of John again. It is such an amazing portrait of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. As He dealt with the unbelieving crowds, He described very vividly what one needed to do to have salvation - they must eat His flesh and drink His blood. Though even today that sounds horrible, it is actually the greatest meal I could ever have. The meal is that of grace. It is served at the Father's table, and I am the invited guest. The aroma fills my heart with all good things imaginable. It is hearty and rich, sweet and refreshing. My hunger is craved, and my thirst is quenched. It changes my entire appetite - I no longer find satisfaction in the crusts of bread the world serves, no matter how fancy the platter on which it is served. All of these thoughts filled my head as I read that I must eat the flesh of the Son of Man, drink the blood of the only begotten Son of God. Like little seeds that don't seem like that much, the words grew into an amazing garden, bursting with all kinds of thoughts and ideas. That's why the temple guards said of Jesus, "No one spoke like this man." His words weren't just extraordinary. They were filled with power and authority. They came from the mouth of the very One who with mere words spoke this entire universe into existence.
I began this blog almost two years ago as a means of getting my thoughts out where I could see them. After a long hiatus this past year, I have seen my desires toward it changed somewhat. It is the practice arena. It is where I can hone these skills with this instrument called words. If God used it to make the universe, and I am made in His image, then I am meant to use words with power, precision, and grace. Perhaps this instrument will never be used to write a song or an adventure series of my own, but it might be used to encourage another. It might be used to teach the doctrines of Scripture. It might even challenge the heart it needs to strike at the most - my own. Whatever God has in store for the writing skills I have been given, I hope that it will be one more talent I might use to make Him look good. That is what all creation by His powerfully spoken words does every day and every night.