Authored by Steve Hearts (a guest contribution)
(There is currently no image for this post.)
Time is a precious gift. Every moment is meant to be valued, appreciated, and seen as the loan that it is. If we were aware of this fact as we should be, the way we use our time would probably be different than it actually is.
I think advanced technology—with all its wonders, conveniences, and attractions—has played a major part in tainting our perspective when it comes to the value of time. Many of us are easily hooked on TV viewing, web surfing, chatting over the Internet, or texting. These can serve as pleasant distractions and pastimes, but they often do little or nothing to motivate us to be productive and reach our full potential.
We all enjoy the thought of being successful in our endeavors. But the question is, how much of ourselves and our time are we willing to invest in order to make this thought a reality? Take a brief moment of introspection. Sign out of the chat window, put away the video games, turn off the cell phone, and think for a while about the following questions.
What have you done toward that skill you picture yourself one day mastering? For instance, did you once read a really good book that made you wish you could be a writer? Did you try writing on a few occasions and discover that your work wasn’t half bad?
I’ve always loved a good story. I read a fair amount of Braille books, and also there were always others, like my dear mother, who took it upon themselves to read to me as well. When I was a boy, Mother taught me how to write letters. I would write them in Braille, and she would translate that into regular letters under the dots, so that the recipient could decipher what I’d written. This went over well with many people, especially my grandparents. “You have such a way with words, Steve,” my grandfather often commented regarding a letter I’d sent him.
Mother always told me I’d make a good writer. This flattered me, although I didn’t really believe it. It wasn’t until I was nearly 18, lying in bed while suffering from an excruciating case of chickenpox, that I finally began to consider, and then believe, my mother’s compliment.
“That’s what I’ve been telling you,” she said when I told her that I was thinking about writing again. Her tone of voice betrayed the smile on her face. I could feel myself smiling along with her.
Being later introduced to assistive technology for the blind (which enables me to use a computer) made it much easier to further pursue my interest in writing. I soon began attempting to write a book that told the general story of my life. This became my new hobby. Yet, for reasons that are inconsequential to this article, my enthusiasm for this project eventually fizzled out.
In its place was born the idea of writing articles such as this, to be published on TFI websites and in the Activated magazine. Now, some of the articles I’ve written have already been published. What’s more, they have been used by the Lord to make a difference in the lives of those I’ve sent them to for previewing. I’ve found this project far more manageable, especially considering my rather minimal knowledge and experience as a writer. I decided that the project of a book is for a more seasoned writer than me, although I may take it up again in time.
For me, writing has now become both a hobby and a ministry. Sure, it has a “work” side to it, involving a lot of critical thinking, creativity, research, etc.; yet with each moment I spend pursuing this new vocation, the certainty of its worth grows as I see lives being transformed.
Don’t think that this article is only targeted at would-be writers. Perhaps you have an interest in graphic design, for example, and the gift for it as well. Whichever productive skill you may be interested in, pursue it. Push aside the myriad of excuses and reasons why “you can’t,” and get rolling. Who knows? You may end up setting yourself up for a new ministry or career in the long run. Instead of losing sleep over time spent in counterproductive and addicting distractions, undertake something productive and worthwhile.
Whatever may be the result of your resolve to do this, you won’t regret it. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.”1
1 Ecclesiastes 9:10 NIV
Read by Amber Larriva. Music by sindustry(CC). Copyright© 2013 by The Family International