The Big Important Thing
I hate when skinny people say, "I forgot to eat," because who forgets to eat? It's like forgetting to breathe, I've not had it happen. In fact, I've remembered extra meals. There are things I have forgotten though.
It was 1980-something and I'd forgotten the secret thoughts written in a devotional journal in middle school. This particular book was set up like a diary with scriptures and inspirational sayings on each page. I wrote sporadically through it, everything from what I had for breakfast, what the weather was like, who my current crush was, and what I really thought about the kids in my youth group. I've been journaling, writing in diaries, and blogging for as long as I can remember and have more notebooks I should probably burn than ever need see the light of day. I'd long forgotten about this book until I found it one weekend while I was home from college, it was shelved in the library of the school at the church I attended. My parents donated it along with several other old books of mine without my knowledge. I gasped when I realized it had been checked out of the library by the next generation of youth group kids, siblings of the ones I'd written about. My secret thoughts were now being passed around and giggled over by girls with bad perms and braces. I grabbed the book of secrets and found the school principal and asked for my book back even though I knew it was mine. He readily agreed to return the book to me and I packed it away where it lingered for several decades until it was rediscovered not long ago.
The familiar feelings of oh my goodness, everyone knows flooded my mind as I flipped through the pages and reacquainted myself with the me of 30+ years ago. I reassured myself with the the thought of while everyone knows not everyone cares, because what's important to me isn't as important to everyone else. And that's okay.
My writing is important to me. I love the outlet it gives me, the freedom I feel after expressing my thoughts, and the playing with words. I love it all. I love it when I am a featured writer on a ministry blog, when someone shares what I've written, and when I get a note letting me know my words have helped someone grow. It makes me want to jump and celebrate when my ministry through writing touches lives. I don't share how important this is to me with too many people because I also know that my big important thing isn't at all important to you. And that's okay.
We are supposed to be different and while we celebrate each other's accomplishments we need to remember that our journey, victories, and ministries are ours. Not everyone has the same passion for what we are passionate about. This is true even in the church. While you may be burdened to feed the homeless, minister to prison inmates, visit nursing homes, go on missions trips, or even teach a Sunday school class, not everyone will feel the same as you. This is okay. What isn't okay is when we get offended because people don't share our burden. As the body we all have different functions. Your burden will help you reach people I won't reach. My burden will do the same. Work in your calling without making others feel guilty. I had a friend who took in rescued animals and wanted to get as many of her friends to do the same. She felt it was her duty to let the rest of us know how lousy we were as humans because we didn't do her thing. That's not right. We need to encourage each other to find our passions and excel in them. While I may think human trafficking is the worst problem in our world you may think abortion is. One is not more important than the other.
Celebrate and encourage one another. This is how we win. This is how we let our lights shine.