So I started writing many years ago and then got more serious. Then not so much. Then I said something to DH- probably when we were dating and I was trying to be show-offey because he’s so smart and talented- and I made it sound like I was a serious writer.
And he believed me!
And then I married him and shorty after, I found out about a Christian Writing Conference.
Well, that sounds nice. And I thought, “I’m a Christian. I write.”
Well, there was approximately 500 people there and I learned a whole helluva lot about Christian Writing (one thing: you can’t say “hell”).
Christian Writing is really two different things: There are Christians who write. You know, like there are Christians who doctor. Or engineer. Or even the ones who pastor.
And then there are Christians who write Christian.
And quite a few, mostly in the latter group, refer to their writing as their ministry.
And in my sarcastic-way-chafe-at-everything-Christianese, I hear this and really struggle to keep my eyes from rolling back in my head. Or, at least, I try to wait till I’m in private.
I do not think of writing as a ministry. Why do I write? I don’t know. Why am I dog person more than a cat person? Why do I like vodka martinis instead of gin? It just is. And I just… is a writer. (Sorry, it was just too good to pass up.)
Writing is what I am pulled towards. I know some find it odd- my love of words- but it’s just my “thing”. I don’t think of it as a calling or a ministry or a mission from God.
BUT a thought occurred during my quiet time. Just kidding. I was driving home and Little Sir was asleep in his car seat. And thought if I stopped ascribing so much TONE to the word ministry- what would that be like?
And without all the TONE, it occurred to me that my LIFE is my ministry. The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly. It’s all how I am serving myself and others. And God. Which is how I define ministry.
Unless I really pursue the title of Minister (with the degree and fancy outfits and everything), I am not sure- as a layperson- I can categorize my ministry to one area.
Though that could be convenient…
Oh, sorry I was a jerk to you, but being nice is not my MINISTRY. Housework is not my ministry. Anything to do with car maintenance too. I am not called to those things. And forgiveness. Clearly, people have a calling for that. Me, not so much. It does not come very naturally. I seem to be called to grudges.
I am also not going to inflate something I do because I simply do not know how to not do it by calling it a MINISTRY. As though somehow my writing is better or more important because I attach religious words/phrases. Maybe not better technically (why bother with petty details), but TO GOD and therefore TO YOU.
My default setting is to love words and putting them to stories I make up. It’s a good gig. But I can’t really say it’s a ministry. Of course I want it to be okay with God and good for others, but that goes for my whole life.
Calling it something fancy does not make it better. Sashimi for example. That sounds lovely. But really that is still just bait. Calimari is still squid. Fried bait. Whether I call writing a ministry or my avocation or my career, it doesn’t change what it is (hopefully better than fish bait).
Now about those other areas of life– how my whole life is my ministry?
Progress, not perfection?