I’m not really one for New Year’s Resolutions, but the one commitment I made to myself for the last calendar year was that I would write in a journal every night before I went to bed. It didn’t have to be long or profound. I figured that if I didn’t have something worth saying at the end of each day, then the day hadn’t been a success.
I have a hard time pinpointing why I write. On my best days it is because I think I have something to say, on my worst it is because I am desperate for someone to care what I have to say. When I look over my writing on this blog, I see a decline in the number of posts I have written, but an increase in focus: in other words, more of my posts have a point. I usually tell myself that if my post can’t fit one or more of the tabs I already have it’s too rambly to be shared. I need to know what I want to say.
When I was still cutting my teeth in singing, my performances must have been painful to watch. I was stone-faced, unexpressive, dead behind the eyes. I waffled between not knowing what I had to say and being terrified of saying it. If I tried to be expressive and failed, everyone would know I was a failure, and worse yet, everyone would know that I thought I was worth listening to. I was a moderately unhappy late -adolescent, and the idea of anyone knowing that I wanted to express myself was a terror beyond imagining.
As time has gone on I have made progress toward singing with a message, and I struggle to make that message into something I live all day. That we were created by a God who loves us and who is just as real as the suffering that smacks us in the face every day; that we owe something to each other; that duty and discipline are as important as liberty; that beauty matters; that learning has intrinsic value; that the intensity of our emotions is the key to our humanity; that life can be so much fun if you do it right: if that is what I want to say, am I living in a way that shares that all day long?
Like most of us, I fail too often in my attempts to make my actions match my heart. I do not do the good that I want but I do the evil I do not want. (Rom 7:19) And so I turn to feeble words to get my point across, knowing that the words may help me find my heart and further help me live.