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Stewarding My Talent

Though I’ve only declared my love of writing for about ten years now, I’ve always harbored a love for storytelling, an adoration for the crispness and endless possibilities of the unbridled imagination. I certainly didn’t always feel too sympathetic about the cause of writing during my early childhood; I actually hated to submit to writing of any form from the time I learned to construct sentences until I was about eight or nine. But, I was born with an imagination that could take me anywhere. And with that imagination, I would run across valleys, free-fall through the air, build cities and lands, and bring characters to life with my spoken words and occasional melodrama.

My stories and imagined worlds were beginning to mesh together in my mind, and in order to recall them correctly, I was forced to write them down. Somewhere in this process, I discovered that I could add details and visualize them slightly better in the written form. Soon enough, I couldn’t stop writing. More ideas poured from my mind faster than my small hands could scratch them down on a battered notebook with cerulean blue ink. I finished a small piece that I had dreamt up called “Hayden’s Commitment”, when I was about eleven. I gave it to my mother for her birthday, but have since stolen it back and given it a proper burial. Upon my turning thirteen, I was ashamed at my silly childish writings etched out in ink on my crumpled lined paper. They were not good enough for anyone but me to read. I have since learned that my journey with my writing has been similar in many ways to my walk with Christ. It showed me as a budding Christian, new and raw to the notion of serving the King – giving seventy percent of all I had in small, frantic bursts of energy and will, instead of giving all of me, constantly.

Such journeys are certainly growing processes.

The way I perceive writing today is a mixture of an art and a lifestyle. Anyone can write. But a true writer possesses the drive and passion it takes to develop an ability or talent into an authentic art. Serving Christ is not a one-time, get-out-of-the-contract-after-it-expires, temporary sort of deal. Neither is our walk with Christ meant to be something we pick up and dust off whenever we feel like putting it on; we must be striving to serve Him, honing our skills He gave us and continually gleaning knowledge about Him through His Word. A writer cannot leave his or her work on the desk for five weeks and come back with the hopes that he or she can pick up where the story left off – the art must be honed, harnessed, and consistently practiced day in and day out, even when such persevering efforts seem futile. Like many others who possess talents or gifts with which they can impact the world for Christ, they hone it for years, anchoring themselves to their commitment only through perseverance and belief that their efforts for the cause of Christ will not go forth without effect.

I was just a person who liked to write when I was young; today, if I praise the quality of my work, I am exactly like my thirteen year-old self – scribbling furiously in a battered notebook that will eventually be thrown away. There must be confidence in one’s talent and ability to serve God, but it must not be placed in oneself, but rather in God’s ability to make something out of nothing; it is to have faith that He can make dust into living, breathing, miraculous life.

To me, writing is breathing. To me, breathing is giving back to God everything He first gave me.

 

-Sara Halbrook

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