Posts Tagged ‘Thankfulness’

The Gift of Writing

Just Thoughts on the Gift of Writing
July 16, 2011

      Many times in our lives we are given gifts. Some thrill us, amuse us, and others leave us wondering, “How in the world does this thing work?”  For those sorts of gifts, there is usually a book of detailed instructions.  Such was the case with my new SLR Canon camera my dad gave me while I was a college student. He was such an avid photographer that he wanted me to have a good camera for a photography class I was taking.   I studied the handbook and tinkered with all the settings.  I re-read the instruction book again, and again.  It seemed another language.  What did I know of aperture settings and shutter speeds?  I held in my hand a wonderful gift -but I didn’t know how to use it.

      As the spring semester began, so did my photography class.  Michael, my instructor, showed us the dark room, the developing and enlarging processes, explained a few things about the camera and sent us out into the night to take pictures.  The following week he sent us into the dark room to develop a roll of film.  From there to the dryer, and then to the enlargers.  Each step of the way he was close by to answer our timid questions.  One week blended with the next as we practiced the skills of using our cameras and printing our film.  Had I not first received the gift of my camera, all those other doors would have been closed to me.

      Today as I was cleaning my home, I found my old Canon camera and was reminded of those college days when I was doing so much writing and photography work.  I had written an English assignment dealing with various gifts we had received.  In that paper I made the statement, “the gift God has given me, writing . . . as I polish the skills . . .” The love of writing is a gift God gave me from early childhood.  In fact, I won many writing contests before my tenth birthday. 

     I often laugh with my classroom of school children when they balk about a writing assignment I require from them.  When they woefully tell me they can’t write, I encourage them by quoting a poem I wrote when I was in Mrs. Heath’s first grade class way back in 1957.

 Once there was a cat, his name was Skitty Scat,
He chased a baby rat, under my mother’s mat. 
My mother said, “He’ll have to go”, I said, “Oh, Mother don’t let it be so.” 
She chased him with a mop and pail, and that was the end of Skitty Scale.” 

     I explain to the boys and girls how I changed the cats name at the end of the poem to make it rhyme.  They are amused, and then encouraged that they can do better than that!  And off they go on their writing adventure.

     This journey of life is our gift from God.  He created us in His image.  He has made each of us to be uniquely creative.  This gift should not be accepted with an apathetic nod, or a cursory “thanks” to the gift-giver, but with genuine appreciation of the treasure that is hidden in the heart of every soul.  These unique thoughts and words can enrich, encourage, inspire, or amuse others along their own journey through life.  Once we discover the thoughts and words that are there, we must get a firm grasp on the instruction books which explains proper use of the gift, and press forward.  We must practice this art until we better understand it, sharpen it, and then a little more just because we love it.

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