If you’ve been around the blogging world for a bit, you may have noticed some of your favorite writers participating in a blogging challenge every October called 31 Days. It is an opportunity for normal, busy men and women to inflict pain upon themselves for the sake of community. It is blogging martyrdom, pure and simple. Fall on your pens, folks!
I was not about to do it.
Last year, when I had not even been blogging for a full twelve months, I stumbled upon this whole thirty-one-days-of-group-torment a little too late. Posts started popping up on October first and I had no idea why. “Huh, running a series must be a great way to grow a blog,” I thought.
Then I found out the real reason. It was like a blogging version of an Ironman competition, and I had just missed the starting gun.
“Whew,” I said to myself. “That was close.”
Still, the idea intrigued me: thirty-one days of straight writing, thirty-one days of posting brilliant content. At the end of thirty-one days, I would have so many words. I would have disciplined myself to write and post content every single day. Since I am not very disciplined, I couldn’t help but think, “This will be so great!”
November rolled around and all my blogging buddies were sleeping off their thirty-one day comas, and I began a series of my own.
It was only thirty posts, and that’s as close as I came to replicating the kind of diligent writing my friends had accomplished the month before.
See, I wasn’t very far into the first week of writing when I discovered that I am incapable of posting brilliant content every single day for thirty-one days. I have a two, maybe three-day brilliance capacity, max. My thirty-one day series turned into a six-week series, which turned into a two-month series. I think I managed to wrap things up before Christmas but I’m not really sure. Everything that happened after Thanksgiving is kind of fuzzy due to blogging toxemia.
But then the series came to an end. I slept again. I ate again. Actually, I ate all along it’s just that I was now conscious of the fact.
I reflected. I realized that I was not the same writer who sat down at her laptop on Day One. That series changed me. When I think back to that time, when every spare second of my day was spent wrestling with the truth of the Scripture and pinning it down into paragraphs and coherent sentences, I realize it was one of the sweetest, most difficult times of growth I have had in my adult life.
And I never wanted to do it again.
But I am.
Because it is October, and I believe God has something He wants me to write. I have trembled about it and made up all kinds of excuses because I don’t really like hard things, especially thirty-one days of hard things. I consulted the wisdom of my husband who confirmed that this whole idea is nuts. After all, October is a very busy month. We have extra responsibilities this month, and I’m already not doing very well at the responsibilities I have.
I am afraid.
I am afraid of failure. I am afraid of getting to Day 2 and running out of steam. I am afraid of writing at 3 am and sticking commas in all the wrong places and having you all know that I am not a very good writer after all. I am afraid of neglecting my family and the house and forgetting to feed the fish.
Most of all, I am afraid of writing words that are not His just so I have something to fill up the screen.
But then I think about burying talents, and I don’t think God likes it much. It seems to me that if I have the choice between a shovel and a keyboard, I’d better pick the keyboard. Because there is no failure like the failure to try. There is no sin like refusing to step out on the waves if He calls.
I doubt. I falter. But that’s part of walking, and I am marching to the cadence of the Word pounding in my ears:
“His divine power has given us everything we need
for life and godliness through our knowledge of him
who called us by his own glory and goodness.”
–2 Peter 1:3
Do I believe it? I’ve spoken on this very verse so many times. I’ve gone to MOPS groups and said it loud over the noises of the babies. I’ve stood in front of high school students and quoted it to crossed arms and slouched bodies. Every time, the crowd presses in, hungry, because this is promise that is almost too good to believe.
Is it true?
Think about it. God’s Word says He has given us everything we need for life and godliness. Everything. It’s almost too much to comprehend.
Sometimes, the best way to understand truth is to put it into story. Jesus did that for us when he told parables. I like to think about him gathering the big kids around and making profound things simple with a “Once upon a time…”
For the next thirty-one days, or however long it takes my frail self to get the words out, we are going to spin a tale so we can see the truth of what it means to be rich in Christ like Peter tells us we are.
Like any good story, it’s going to begin like this: “Once upon a time…”
Join me tomorrow for Day 2.