Monday, July 18, 2011

Your invitation to be ridiculous

This summer I have an intern from Taylor University named Tom Vick. I asked him to be a guest blogger for the next two weeks. His writing comes deep from the heart. Enjoy. 

“What is this?”
“It’s my portfolio.”
She handed the manilla folder back to me. “You can do better than this.”
“Tom, you’re a good writer, don’t settle for mediocre.”

That sort of talk was what I needed to propel me into my career. People believing in me helped me survive high school English critique groups. I could graduate knowing two or three English teachers thought I was going somewhere. Even now my old high school buddies respond with “Oh yeah, you were always good at writing stuff,” when I update them with my latest stories. But now looking back I realize it wasn’t everything I needed.

When you grow as a writer or as a person for that matter, you need more than the confirmation of your peers. My teachers believed in me. My parents cherished every written word. Even my friends thought I was going to make it big, but I always doubted.

In my junior year of high school, I published my first devotional. That’s when people started putting the pressure on me. They threw expectations at me. I didn’t want those because I had already aimed my arrows north of the bulls-eye. All that did was put my publishing career on hold for three years after those devotions.

The Word was a place of constant refuge for me and it proved my self-deprecations wrong. Jesus called his first followers with these words. “Follow me and I will teach to you to fish for people.” What a ridiculous invitation, to “fish for people” and what a radical following those words kindled.

Jesus Christ died on a tree for us. That makes me think we’re worth something to him.

Maybe he would like to see me use talents he wrote out for me before the beginning of time. Believing in yourself, a creature of selfish ambition is ridiculous, but with blood paid for my life I found out that setting expectations for yourself is a way to glorify God even though logically it’s unreasonable. That’s it. Be ridiculous. That’s the writing advice he can give you. Be as ridiculous as possible. You are a supernatural entity in God’s eyes capable of one day judging angels. It’s your free invitation to be ridiculous.