Friday, May 27, 2016

Why Do I Write?

As I attended the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference this year, a question was posed during the week that led to my pondering of such a question.  Had I never thought of the question before?  Was the question one that rattled me to my core in such a way that the world stopped turning as I stood frozen in time, unable to think of anything other than the question that had been tossed into my atmosphere?  No angelic host appeared nor did any radiant light.  In fact, I received the question, filed it into a compartment in my mind, and walked on to my next appointment.  In the filing however, the question was marked as one that I must answer.
The question was simply this - "Why do you write?"  I am sure that at some point in the decade that has passed since I stepped out in faith to write I have asked myself that question but never truly investigated my motives.  Is there a rush of adrenaline that comes when one sees his/her name in a magazine or newspaper or on the cover of a book?  Yes, there is a great rush of adrenaline.  My column in my local newspaper sends me scurrying the first of each month to grab copies and distribute them to friends and family members.  The euphoria of a printed piece, however, is not enough motive to go through the grueling process of writing.
In my consideration of the question posed, I examined myself to see if my motive was strictly financially driven. My past includes a time of making choices completely driven by money.  I worked three jobs at one point, a full-time position with two part-time jobs to supplement my income.  In today's culture and given that two year period of exhaustive laboring, money can drive us to do many things, but even money could not be the motivation because I have, in my early days and even today in some instances, written for no payment at all.  Should professional writers do such a thing?  I suppose not but I will admit that I have indeed written for nothing more than a published credit.  I had eliminated two possible reasons for writing.
I moved on to what could possibly be the next reason.  Do I write because I have nothing else to do?  This, too, could be a plausible reason if not for the life that I live.  I am a Senior Pastor and though some believe that is simply a one-day-per-week vocation, I can assure you the hours are more numerous than forty each week.  When I am home, I have a wonderful wife, Crystal, and two little girls who need my attention, Cheyenne Rose and Autumn Grace.  By the time a day has concluded with its responsibilities, the clock has announced that ten o'clock has passed and tomorrow brings a day filled with appointments.  Regardless, my eyes will not rest until something has been written for the day.  The need to write definitely does not arise from a life devoid of activities.
I drove to Asheville one evening, needing a walk to find inspiration and needing fresh air to clear my mind.  Upon returning to Ridgecrest, I exited the interstate as darkness had fallen to the point where the mountains were simply darker shades drawn in the night sky.  To my left, the question was answered though I was not pondering the question at that moment.  The illuminated cross, the very one I had seen many times before, answered the question.  My desire to write is to make Him known, whether it be in a newspaper, magazine, a blog, or a book.  I write for the glory of the Lord, that others will know Him and that, perhaps, He will use me for His glory.
As the apostle John wrote in 1 John, "that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full." (1 John 1:3-4 NKJV)  To write that others may have fellowship, not only with us but with Christ the Lord, is the reason to write for me.  The simple question turned out to have a much deeper answer than I had anticipated, but the answer was found in the shadow of the cross.  Why do I write?  I write so that a lost and broken world finds the answers it needs at the foot of the cross of Christ.