We Got the Gift.

For those of you noticing an NSYNC video directly above, please do not worry. You have come to the right place. For a reason I’m still not entirely sure of, I woke up this morning jamming this tune. Yes, this “pop” album was released in 2001. And, no, I do not still listen to NSYNC…unless it’s an incredibly desperate time…

We got the gift of melody, we’re gonna bring it to the end…Doesn’t matter the clothes I wear, where I go and why. All that matters is that you get hyped and we’ll do it to you every time.

Wow. So humble, NSYNC.

I’m struck by the fact that they’ve got the gift of melody and they’re going to bring it to the end. And nothing else matters. They are here to share their gift and get you hyped every time you hear their song. Even years later when it POPS in your head without any warning.

In all seriousness, I am learning these days that I am a writer. I am a good writer, in fact. These are words that are difficult to admit and even more challenging to utter. These pages have sat blank for a while because I’ve also learned that being a good writer can turn into your everything. I needed every word on this page to be perfect. I needed to know exactly what to write about and how to weave it all together in beautiful patterns. I needed to write every day; otherwise, I could not possibly be a writer.

We can rejoice over one amazing thing: God has recently showed me how my faith can give me a balance in my life. Sometimes that means my writing life is ignored, but I’m okay with it some days. Writing is not my identity; rather, it is a gift that I have that I want to bring it to the end.

However that may happen.

Not becoming enslaved to my quest to write the next great American novel is a challenge. A daily challenge. Being successful and writing all the right words feels really good. Writing something that isn’t good, on the other hand, pierces a dagger straight in your heart.

“The written word is weak. Many people prefer life to it. Life gets your blood going, and it smells good. Writing is mere writing, literature is mere. It appeals only to the subtlest senses—the imagination’s vision, and the imagination’s hearing—and the moral sense, and the intellect. This writing that you do, that so thrills you, that so rocks and exhilarates you, as if you were dancing next to the band, is barely audible to anyone else. The reader’s ear must adjust down from loud life to the subtle, imaginary sounds of the written word. An ordinary reader picking up a book can’t yet hear a thing; it will take half an hour to pick up the writing’s modulations, its ups and downs and louds and softs.”

—Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

Reading Annie Dillard’s words exhilarate me because I understand every word that she writes about the writing life. I relate. But others might not feel the same connection.

Writing is my gift. It is what thrills me and rocks me just as if I am dancing to the beats of NSYNC on stage. Shoot, I am NSYNC on stage. I can feel the rhythms and the beats pulsate through my blood. In an instant, this rush of emotion, it can easily feel like everything and anything that ever matters in life.

But I get it. Words are weak compared to the smells of the real world. Not everyone’s imagination takes them to where I want them to go. The reader’s ear must adjust, and this can take more time than people are willing to wait for. My quest to make you hear it, can sometimes feel like a lifetime. And it can sometimes mean a life with very little balance—a life where I leave the outside world and every smell that comes with it, all because I am determined to make you hear it.

We all have gifts—talents given to us that we cannot explain. Talents that have nothing to do with how hard we worked to get there. Talents that are not from us. Talents that we either embrace and realize they have nothing to do with our efforts, or talents that we boast about and consume our lives with. When we step back and realize that our talents are wrapped up in boxes with perfect ribbons waiting to be unwrapped when the time is right, we can be thankful for the gifts and realize that the rest of what comes with that gift doesn’t matter one bit. They are gifts that we work until the end of our time to have even just one person hear even a tiny little piece of what we are proclaiming.

All that matters is that you get hyped and we do it to you every time.