Betty J. Slade
There have been times when I resisted change for any number of reasons. I was an artist for 45 years before I became a writer. It's enough to make me wonder, would I have been a better writer if I had honed my skills earlier in life?
If only I had a blueprint. Perhaps I would have picked up a pencil instead of a paintbrush back in the day. To be perfectly honest about it all, I'm not sure I would have had anything to say. In essence, it has taken a lifetime of living to believe I have something of value to write.
I had a strong stirring in my heart recently. Sleepless nights led way to a burning desire to start on online prayer group to pray for our country. I would be remiss if I said I answered that door at the first knock.
I immediately questioned the importance of the desire. Why me? I am sure there are other people who are more equipped to pray for the country and would do a better job. Why now? This is not part of any plan in life that I know of. My passion is in the arts, not politics.
The conviction to pray for our country became a fortified force within me. Yet, at every turn, I put wall after wall in place. I was not raised in a political family. Any viewpoint I have is from a weak foundation at best.
"I'm a writer, not a fighter."
Eventually, I knew I had to do what I was supposed to do: build that which I was called to build. But with each stone laid, each timber placed, I couldn't seem to see things materialize.
Maybe I misunderstood the plan. After all, I could go on and on as to why I didn't think I was the right person to lead a prayer group praying for our country.
I watched movie called "Music Within." It was the true story of a motivational speaker by the name of Richard Pimentel. He loved to debate. His dreams were shattered by a college professor who told him that he had a talent for speaking, but didn't have anything important to say. The professor's advice, "Go out and earn a point a view. You won't have anything to talk about until you have lived a full life."
Feeling like a failure, Pimentel joined the Army, then shipped off for Vietnam. A bomb blast took away his hearing, but with much determination, he learned to read lips to overcome his impairment.
Pimentel eventually found a new circle of friends, which included a man with cerebral palsy and an alcoholic war veteran. His gift in public speaking allowed him to become an advocate for the Americans with Disabilities Act which was passed in 1990.
Pimentel didn't relish in his handicap, but recognized through his ability to speak in public how he could help others with their own limitations. Those around him needed him to use his passion to speak to their cause for their own needs.
Why does it seem like life has to unravel before we can know who we are supposed to be or what we are supposed to do? Maybe, "earning a point of view" means finding the right angles and measurements that are built within us.
I realize that leading a call to pray for the nation doesn't mean that I need to have a strong political view, but the desire to surrender to a master plan, a foundation built on the Bible.
Each of us has been called with passion and purpose uniquely our own. For me, it has been years of Bible study, which has gone deep into my soul and has given me a very specific point of view.
Final brushstroke: Even as a blueprint resides on the drafting table, it is important to understand its design. Like a plumb line that always brings us to center, we eventually align to the path we are supposed to take, even if it means renovating, taking down walls to add a new room.
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