Today’s Gritty Reality or Tomorrow’s Smooth Sailing?


As I wrote a few days ago, Ellen and I look at the Jimmy parked in the sand and have two different thoughts.

Where do you think the driver went?

Ellen sees the picture and imagines the SUV’s passengers walking on the beach.  Her thoughts on this matter are based in reality. I parked the Jimmy on the beach at Mustang Island (a part of the Padre Island chain located just south of Port Aransas, Texas) and walked near the gulf’s edge hunting for sand dollars and any other interesting shells. The sea has fascinated me ever since my elementary years.

I see the picture and imagine the driver dreaming of far away islands and adventures. Perhaps he’s even abandoned the SUV for a sailboat and navigates the seas searching for his new home. He sees flying fish skittering across the water’s surface, the spray of a breaching whale, an albatross skimming the waves, and the limitless expanse of the stars over a midnight ocean.

I’m working through an e-book, Bryan Allain’s 31 Days to Finding Your Blogging Mojo, which makes me think through why I do what I do, i.e. write The Journey blog.

To practice writing?

Seth Godin wrote, “Writer’s block isn’t hard to cure. Just write poorly. Continue to write poorly, in public, until you can write better.”

Blogging gives me a place to “write poorly…until [I] can write better.” And, yes, I value the lessons I learn here as I “practice writing.”

But, no, it’s not why I write.

To make money?

I’m learning about how to monetize my blog, i.e. finding ways to make money as I write. Today I signed up as an Amazon Associate.  I still have to be approved but basically, if approved, then when I review or recommend a book, offer a link to Amazon, and people follow it and make a purchase, then I will receive a percentage from the sale. And, yes, I’d like to make money as a writer.

But, no, that’s not why I write.

I’m still working through 31 Days but I’ve already learned some of why I write.

I write because…

…I love Jesus Christ…

…I long for authentic relationships centered in Him…

…I struggle with my faith…

…and how to live in a way that honors God…

…I want to teach…

…and to learn how to be a faithful Christ follower…

…with a curious band of others.

When I see the SUV on the sand, I now think that Ellen’s right.

And so am I.

It represents the practical here and now (Ellen)—the reality of the grit beneath our feet, the hot sun’s discomfort, sweat running down our cheeks, the strong breeze off the sea, and the discovering what’s around us as we trek.

It also represents that dreaming of something better in the future (me)—the hope of heaven and a deeper communion with God and His people.

As I work through 31 Days, I know changes will be coming in me, my writing, and my blog. The name may change. The focus will certainly sharpen even more.

But, ultimately, I write to provide a place and thoughts for shaping our future in Jesus Christ.

Question: What image would you suggest captures both our present reality and our future hope?        

About tnealtarver

I've traveled and spoken around the world but always love to come home. There I eat exceptional meals, drink coffee to my heart's content, and get loved like nowhere else on earth. I believe a community centered in Christ should be all that and so much more.
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