“650 words or less”, He said

I don’t put much forethought into writing. I no longer struggle with afterthought, too much, either. God simply places something on my heart to “say”, then, depending on my distance to the keyboard, I begin typing. Most of the time, I don’t even know where the journey will take me. Sometimes, I spend a day, or so, laboring over His thoughts only to toss the final draft into the trash bin.

I find it important to point out that I don’t follow the “rules” of writing. I have examined publications that highlight literary techniques, nonetheless. I’ve also glanced at books that detail the “rules” of preparation, as well. I’ve even gone as far as to ask a few questions in online writing forums. And, once upon a time, I took a course (English 101) in college.

I “failed out” of Western Illinois University, after two full semesters of study.

Additionally, I’ve pondered if my lack of education serves more as an obstacle to the folks who have read what I’ve written. I was told as much, once, in an anonymous review of an essay I published a while back. Nevertheless, I’m training myself to “rebuke” that mindset. The island of morbid reflection isn’t a pleasant destination for me. I am seemingly incapable of naturally pulling myself up “by the bootstraps” to recover from snorkeling in that cerebral mire. Where some people may be able to objectively peek over their lives with emotional detachment, my brain intuitively locks onto the macabre ripples of doubt while enthusiastically riding them to the shoreline of self-destruction.

Meldie, my wife, “fetches me” if she notices me surfing these swells of unlit mental current too long. I’ve given her permission to do so, in case you’re skeptical of that. Being open to correction, from your spouse, should involve a mutual agreement. That’s my take on it, anyway. Being corrected – by just anyone – leaves room (in my mind) for questions of motive and sincerity. It helps, I would imagine, that we don’t have to rely on my writing in order to eat, bathe or heat our home.

The only problem with this: I can’t take Meldie with me everywhere I go (believe me, I’ve tried). Plus, she isn’t a trained writer, either. Her vocabulary includes gobs of enormous words that includes an intuition of where to place them, correctly, while communicating. Yet, she has absolutely no interest in writing. She doesn’t even care if I write – unless it interrupts our time together.

In comparison, I force feed incoherent and non applicable idiom into my everyday conversations like a samurai wielding his katana, fiercely, in the passenger basket of a hot air balloon. It’s quite uncomfortable to behold, really. I once tried to replace the word “espionage” with “expungement” while explaining my review of a Tom Clancy novel to our company Commander while I was in the Army. I reached deeply into my shallow sack of E words and came up short (or too long, depending how you look at it).

So, why would I even bother to write? I mean, really – I write, solely, about “things” pertaining to the ways of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. In today’s world, my subject line isn’t exactly topping the popularity charts of literary genres. Believers are well aware that non-believers regard us as foolish and weak. And, if I have a history of being prone to cartwheeling down the slope of healthy thinking then diving into the darkness of psychological abyss, and wallowing in it, why would I open myself like this?

Well, because that’s what He’s told me to do. Really.

I try not to question Him, too much. He rarely replies to my “why?” inquiries, directly, anyway.

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.

Hebrews 11:6 esv

Published by rrlgabriel

R.L. Gabriel is a US Army Airborne Combat Medic (veteran), former drug addict, father, husband, construction worker and follower of Jesus. He writes with an uncommon honesty while chronicling his past and describing how he walks by faith. His self reflecting memoirs will be published weekly. He lives in the American Midwest with his beautiful wife Meldie. Together, they host and tend to a diverse group of backyard critters while raising an indoor goldfish named Petey.

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