I have felt called to speak since I was in college, almost 20 years now. I have never had a platform to speak from. Even if we hadn’t moved around too much for me to develop a ministry position that would grow out of the local church into regional retreats and national conventions, I haven’t been called to build and lead a specific ministry that could do that. I haven’t even been led into local ministry positions that would have a local audience. So what on earth was I being called to?
Well, I’ve always felt called to write. Okay. But who am I writing for? I was never led to submit articles to, well, to any magazines or journals. It was years before I even had a concept for a book, and even once I had that, I didn’t have an…angle. Not that it mattered. After all, publishers don’t buy nonfiction books without a built-in audience.
I thought about starting a blog so many times over the years. I even attempted it a couple times. I never went so far as to buy the domain name, but I did try. Kind of? I didn’t commit to any sort of schedule. I didn’t attempt to promote it on other social media platforms. But I did try to write what I felt led to write, and I tried to use keyword tags. Not surprisingly at all, it always kind of petered out. But the thing is, I never felt bad about it, because it always felt like a stretch in the first place.
I’ve talked about it a little bit before. Timing.
I don’t know what all is different now. My age and experience? Definitely. The people around me most likely to be my initial audience? Sure. Mostly though, I suspect it’s the entire landscape. It’s all the moving pieces, in me, out in the world, that make it right this time.
Let me explain what I mean by ‘it’s right this time.’
-I have an actual plan for regular posting. I had a simple plan: read through the Bible in two years using a one year plan; read one day, write the second. By the time I’d followed this plan for two weeks, rather than just getting one post out of each passage, I’d gotten two. What’s more, those extra articles, or posts or whatever they should properly be called, had followed a pattern alternating between two series I hadn’t even really considered when I set out but which fit perfectly both together and into the broader scheme.
-I earned some money from a project that is paying for the domain, making it more professional. And I mean I got paid after I began developing the idea and plan but before I was ready to begin.
-I have a name for the project. It’s a better name than I’ve ever had before. It’s a name that I can build on. It’s a name I’ve already expanded from the blog itself into a specific series of articles. It’s a name that suits the motivation behind the other series.
-I began this project, started this journey, while two of my good friends were (still are) in similar positions in their own spiritual journeys. Yay for mutual support!
-Mostly, though, I have peace about it. I have motivation. I have confidence. I have peace.
I may have wanted to be standing here twenty years ago, but I had twenty years of experience to build, pieces to gather. The world had twenty years of changing to go through. Those twenty years of waiting? Yeah, I felt frustrated for a lot of it. But I was paying attention. I was gathering and developing ideas. I was developing.
So maybe you want something and the answer is ‘not yet.’ Maybe you’re passionate about something you don’t have time for, or can’t afford, or aren’t even being directed toward (yet). Maybe the pieces just haven’t all been gathered. This is just one more way I view our lives and our callings as a mosaic. It’s all a work in progress, and while we want to see the glorious finished product now, or at least catch a glimpse of how it’s all going to come together, sometimes we just don’t have the pieces…yet.