Writing has always been my “thang”. When I was four years old, my parents purchased their first computer. In order to learn how to type, my mother asked me to tell her stories which she would then fastidiously dictate. The written word was revered in our home.
I recall writing stories occasionally throughout my youth, but at some point my writing began to turn into something else. I found that when I tried to pray, far too often my thoughts or my words would become a jumbled mess. At some point, and I wish I could remember when, I put down prayer to paper.
I’ve never really examined the practice… it’s just always felt like it was a part of me. Last night I was cleaning our guest room and stumbled across a treasure trove of old and partially used journals and notebooks. As I flipped through them, a piece of paper fell to my feet. It was a prayer I wrote exactly one year ago. I’d like to share it with you now:
Alright, God. I’m here. Some part of me has been keenly aware that something is a little different. I feel like creating. I feel like writing. God, please help me figure out how to direct it. Inspire me. Help me grow. Help me help others grow. Make me good. Make me into the man you want me to be. Fill my lungs. Touch my hands. Forgive my mistakes. Teach me about Grace and love and let me know you better.
Let me in on the jokes. Help me see the joy. Let’s hang out. We could talk late into the night. You can tell me things I’ve never heard, and we could dare each other to do something dumb. Maybe we could see a movie? Grab a bite to eat? Who would win in a fight? David or Moses?
Please give me the Bezalel treatment Help my abilities grow by leaps and bounds. Help me get good at making people laugh. Making them think. Help my words get into people’s heads. Teach me to care about what you care about.
Help our situation improve.
Help me get the blog to grow.
Help me with these videos.
I’m a big fan of yours.
I love you.
See, writing down the prayer is really only half of the… ritual? Once it’s written, it gets tucked away somewhere. Just shoved in whatever nook or cranny is handy. Because as much as writing my prayers down allows me to express implicit thoughts explicitly, it also lets me come back to something that I would have otherwise forgotten.
I feel like God took this prayer up as a personal challenge. In the course of this year, I’ve managed to write with a consistency I’ve never known before, I discovered I have a knack for stand-up comedy, I’ve published two videos at work that were lauded as being largely successful and have received thousands of views, and… I’m getting back to my roots.
Starting November 1st, I will be participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in which I will endeavor to write a 50,000 word novel over the course of 30 days. I’ve vaguely attempted this feat in the past, but I never really stuck with it. I feel like this time will be different.
After discovering this tiny treasure, I think I just realized that if I’m doing my job as an author right, my entire novel will be one long prayer, though not in any overt way. It’s my prayer that I manage to imbue each word with enough depth that the novel shines far beyond me and directly into the face of God. I guess, my hope is that if I have a part of God in me, and my novel has a part of me in it, it’ll have a part of God as well.
In order to meet the 50K goal, I have to write roughly 1,700 words per day. That’s a tall order. As such, I’ve decided that I will not be posting during the month of November. But. I have rounded up a rag-tag group of friends and family who will be posting in my stead. I’m really excited about what the blog is going to look like by the end of November as there are going to be a lot of various perspectives and ideas being explored. Hopefully when I return December 3rd, we’ll have a lot to discuss.
I love you guys. Thanks for reading my words and journeying with me as we try to figure out this whole “God” thing together. Shalom.