I decided to take a break from writing my message for this coming Wednesday to blog a little about some observations I had whilst writing said message. Now I don't normally advertise when I have the opportunity to speak, mostly because I enjoy the look of sheer terror on the students' faces, but also because I don't want to seem like I'm showing off. I'm starting to think I shouldn't care too much about the latter because if God has given me the opportunity to speak, who am I to not make the most of such a blessing? But that's beside the point.
While I was writing my message, I noticed a little bit about my style. I end up writing like it's a story. Now I'm kind of a novice, but I've heard as you progress, you end up coming up with your own style. So I'm perfectly comfortable with how I'm doing this for now. The idea of talking about Jesus and what he's done in a structured outline form, with bullet points and the whole shebang discomforts me. It's boring, and it's not as dramatic as Jesus is, so I'm happy that I have a way I like doing things. But as I wrote, I noticed that I go off scripture by memory, which is cool and scary at the same time. First, I'm pretty glad that I'm familiar with scripture enough to understand certain themes and aspects, but wary because putting together a message is serious business, and it really makes me appreciate how important it is to read scripture regularly and to be familiar with it. This is something I struggle with.
I also find myself paging through my bible to stick verses where they belong because ,sadly, "take my word for it" just doesn't cut it. This isn't necessarily a problem all the time if I know what scripture I was referencing in my head while writing, but I wonder if I might accidentally take a verse out of context while trying to put some scriptural backing into my work. It is so easy to totally misrepresent or misunderstand a passage by trying to squeeze it in and make it work for a point I may be trying to make. That's not something I want to condone in any fashion. Context is key, and I never want to be guilty of negligently misrepresenting God's word. It is what it is. Unless you've taken the time to wrestle with the scripture, to plumb the depths of it's meaning, you better be wary about how you handle it. There's a reason some thought writing out scripture was so sacred, and sometimes potentially dangerous! I guess this makes me appreciate the importance of this practice I'm taking a part in every time I sit down to put pen to paper. It makes me realize it's more than just throwing together a bunch of pretty sounding words. I should never become so attached to how my words sound at the cost of misrepresenting the truth. Because that's what it's all about, really. It's all about sharing God's truth and how it moves you.
PS: For some reason Blogger is being stupid. The draft shows all my spaces and indentations, but the published version is just a huge block of text. I might have figured out how to fix it, but we'll see. My apologies. I do actually know how to write better than a middle-schooler...I think.