I stumbled upon an older journal of mine in rearranging some things in my storage. I flipped it open just to be sure that it was the item I was thinking and my eyes quickly started to read a note I had jotted down. It is not dated on the exact page of this note, but is somewhere roughly around December, 2009. It is funny how we will read our old words and think, hmmm, I do not remember writing that, but I am glad I did.
"You know some days I just think random thoughts throughout the day. Many are poetic in nature and that I want so desperately to put down on paper, but will not take the time to sit down and write for my personal fear that I may appear lazy or not using my time wisely. That thought alone makes me consider how many others in the world be it poets, painters, writers, scientists even, have appeared to waste time to so many around them only to end up authoring words that became famous in every culture and language or discovered a cure for a disease we need not worry about battling today due to their efforts. I have always enjoyed forming poems in my mind, but, next to never, get them down on paper. A shame! The thought of writing a book seems so noble, yet quite overwhelming and out of reach. I sense in me that somewhere along the line of my life that someone said something to make me believe that certain things would always be out of my reach. A shame! I say this not to boast in myself that I would have discovered some great cure or been a Nobel peace prize winner by any means. But, to say I think of all the talent that God so richly blessed His children with that has been stifled by the words of some down-trodden soul who needed someone else to join him in his own muck and mire. A shame! Criticism can many times cause you to feel violated and is often hard to forget. Life can get pretty scary when you step out to use the talents you possess. It is the start of destruction when you cannot recognize the gift He has given you to share. The road to destruction can be long and full of pain. God places those on that road who can help you from those detours in the road that stifle your courage. They are gifts, but we can't always recognize them in the forms of opportunities given and people who speak into our lives. We should guard our hearts and tongues in every aspect of our lives. It is easy to sit and size up other people's attempts at greatness without evaluating whether we have made any attempts. It is easy to criticize others attempts and failures without ever having attempted any on our own. Whether we attempt great things or not, should we not be ones who will "cheer on" or applaud the achievements of others. For to do anything else is to show our true lack of self-esteem and to lack compassion for the abilities and gifts God has blessed on each and everyone."
I continue to seek and try with all my heart to use the talents God has given. It has taken some time to figure them out and I know that I still have time to spend in figuring them out in their fullness. However difficult they may be at times, I am learning to be grateful for them and to use them as much as I am able. There is one ability that we all have if we can reach down and rip out each of our own selfish-pride. It is not a talent, but it a great weapon that can hinder other's talents. There is one characteristic that we are ALL able to do and that is to hold our tongue's when necessary and to use if for building up instead of tearing down. As a brother or sister in Christ may we not give Satan one toe-hold in our lives to damage any other human - be him Christian or not. In this American-Idol world, may we remember, yes, that life is a stage, but it is an audience of one (God alone) and not of man.
A prayer I say many times when I hit the floor: May God be glorified by my words and deeds today and that those around me may be loved as He would love them. Let nothing I say or do to someone bring about their demise or take the wind from their sails, but lift them up and encourage them on their way.
Hold your tongue - edify others - I DARE YOU!