Why bother writing a book? Why does any one need another book? The world is full of books. There have been too many books, most of them never should have been published. Everything has been said already. And why does the world need another painting, another song, another band, another blog or a poem, another work of art, a painting, a documentary? There is enough of it all to satisfy anyone.
The world doesn’t need another artist or even another doctor or teacher, surely there are enough by now. Newspapers, pieces of furniture, it all ends up in the trash soon, the bargain bin, forgotten. Why does the world need another church service, another church plant, another prayer meeting, another intentional community of believers? Why bother praying? Why bother fasting? Why bother sitting in silence and waiting, why bother making meals or cleaning your house, why bother reading?
Why bother being kind? Why bother responding to criticism with good faith? Why bother loving your enemies, that’s the quickest way to be taken advantage of! Call them all haters, name their names, expose their weaknesses, hold them up to public ridicule and laugh at them – they deserve it.
Gracious, giving money away is useless, what difference does sending your bit of money every month really make for the big picture anyway, sure maybe one kid, but what’s one kid in a world?
Besides does anyone need another kid? the world is full, there are too many of us, and kids, man, they are expensive, they use up precious resources. We don’t exactly need more families, surely what we have is sufficient, why bother with communities and neighbourhoods? Why bother creating, why bother making, why bother working, why bother sowing seeds of peace and goodness and love? The crows will come and eat every seed, the weeds will choke out the good plants, the soil is too rocky. Vanity, vanity, all is vanity, surely this is true.
Do it anyway.
Confuse them all by creating, by making, by building, by loving, by writing, by having babies, by being kind, by responding in love, by doing the daily work of life with joy. Refuse to be another voice of critical judgement, fill your mouth with good nouns and faithful verbs, tell a better story.
Baffle them with your ferocious gentleness, with your life-giving, with your prayer, and your wonder. The world does not have enough because your part isn’t here yet, and if anything matters, everything matters, you matter, your book, your song, your art, your family, your faith, your hunger for justice, your voice, your peace making, your loving, your kindness, your battle to forgive, your hands, your feet, your mind, your life, matters.
Ireneus wrote that the glory of God is man fully alive, and we all need you to be fully alive for your life. It will matter in the world, more than you can imagine or dream perhaps, a ripple effect going on and on, touching the other shore, but it will also matter because you matter. You bear the image of God.
So stop asking whether or not anyone wants it or needs it, and simply do it because you were made to do it, because it makes you fully alive to do it, because you are working out what God has already worked in, because it matters, because you are called to the ministry of reconciliation, because the seeds might just catch and someday, perhaps, you’ll sit by the banks of river under the spreading branches of a tree of righteousness.
(that lovely iPhone wallpaper is courtesy of my dear friend, JJ at The Blah Blah Blahger )
updated from the arches