The Handwritten Life
One thing that I've learned about myself over the years is that I do not like handwriting. I can point to a number of reasons why. For starters, I'm a pretty efficient person and I type way faster than I write. It just seems like soooo much effort to actually write something on paper when I can just type it. Add to that how analytical I am. Practically, every blog or essay or song that I write is on the computer. I am very intentional about my writing and my song structure. I love for my music to be symmetric. Plus, I have the luxury of being able to take my thoughts and ideas and arranging, inserting, removing, and rearranging at my discretion. I reread anything I publish multiple times (probably to a fault) to get the exact flow that I want. It's like most of my stuff is a puzzle that I'm meticulously putting together. Speaking of meticulously, it also helps that spellcheck is super convenient and allows me to be able to correct any mistakes or misspellings. I could go on about writing fatigue, sloppy penmanship compared to extravagant fonts, or wasting paper, but the point is that I just don't like handwriting. To be clear, it doesn't bother me when other people do it, but something in me literally avoids it at all costs.
I've always viewed this as a minor quirk until one day, I was writing some notes and it finally hit me. The reason I hate writing so much is not solely because it's an inconvenience, but rather because of fear. There's always been something within me that just hates making mistakes. This perfection complex makes it so that I sometimes barely know how to start the writing. Granted, I can get the same jitters about having the perfect opening on the computer, but there, I have so much more flexibility. It just seems so much easier to be calculated than to just let things flow freely. On the computer, I know that I have the luxury of being able to modify and adjust things at any given time, but on paper, I have to commit. I know I can always start over or write it once completed, but it looks so sloppy and just feels so... permanent.
As I began to meditate on this, I wondered how many other areas of my life are being stifled by perfectionism. What projects are not getting started because it has to be just right? What risks am I not taking at the expense of being calculated?
A Living Epistle
The Bible says that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. I wonder if He's handwriting our story or typing it. Have you ever received a handwritten letter? There's something so authentic and sincere about it. Sure, you can write something genuine on the computer and print it off. But handwriting shows so much more about a person's character. The fact that it takes so much time and energy and preparation just gives so much more value to a handwritten letter. Experts even say that your handwriting can say something about you.
I'd like to think that God is handwriting our lives. He desires for His imprint to to be shown throughout our lives. He wants His personality and character to be revealed through our walks. It makes me think of the woman who was caught in the act of adultery. When the religious leaders leaders brought her to Jesus in the temple to condemn her, Jesus began to stoop down and write on the ground. I wonder what exactly Jesus was writing. Some have taught that Jesus was rewriting her story. After that, He spoke a word to set her free, and told her to go and sin no more. At that moment, Jesus gave her the responsibility to make the right decisions to influence her life. Sure, Jesus may have rewritten her story, but she would certainly play a role in the outcome of her life.
Here's something to consider. How are the choices that we're making influencing our lives? God is handwriting our lives, but are we doing the same? A handwritten life looks like living free, trusting God and not letting perfectionism stifle our progress. The handwritten life does not overthink and wait for everything to be just right before getting started. The handwritten life does not operate in fear, but rather in faith. The handwritten life accomplishes a lot authentically as opposed to very little, "perfectly". I want to encourage you and me to live the handwritten life. Put the pen to the pad and start. Take chances. You may make mistakes. You may forget something along the way. But you will learn. You will grow. And most importantly, you will.
Hebrews 12:1-2 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside
every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,
despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.