I am a sucker for all things “stationery:” notebooks, writing instruments, personalized, embossed, plain—you name it. I don’t know how many journals, ink pens, and brightly colored mechanical pencils I own. If you take me into a bookstore with lots of beautiful stationery, be warned! We are going to be there for a while!
The sad thing is, I have stockpiled all of these different journals; colorful, elegant, whimsical, journals of all sizes. However, if you open them, you’d find the same thing—they’re all blank. Why? Because, every time I get a new journal or a delicate new piece of stationery, I’m afraid to mess it up with my writing! I just know I’ll make a mistake, and who wants to dab white-out on their pretty journal?
I’m not really a fan of my sloppy handwriting either. It’s messy and uneven—not elegant or graceful enough to commit to the pages of these delightfully charming books. So, yes, most of them are blank. Honestly, if I lost one of these pretty books it would be no loss at all. They’re just empty pages.
But then there are the notebooks; plain, cheap notebooks. They have been written in all over the place, pages all out of order, doodles in the margins, scratches and scribbles, words crossed out and written over, sermon notes scattered throughout, with Scripture references here, there, and everywhere.
These are the books that get tossed into my bag at the last minute, lost from time to time, and even stained with coffee rings occasionally (Okay, maybe a little more than occasionally). They have dented edges, dog-eared pages, missing pages, and torn pages. These notebooks are where my life happens. I fly into a panic over these books if I can’t find them! They may be full of messiness, but they are also full of the priceless information I need to do what He’s called me to do.
Our lives are like those blank journals. We have the opportunity to dive in with our pens and pencils, and boldly scribble them up with the gifts He has given us. Or, we can leave them sitting on the shelf, while we wonder what the pages could have held. He has plans and purposes for all of us. We may think our efforts are not good enough, so we clench that pen tightly, and never write the first word. We may feel like we have made so many messes in the past, our entries could never be valuable enough to put out there for anyone to see.
And you know what? We will make mistakes.
We will have to do some scribbling, and we will even need to apply the “white-out” of His precious blood to fix our mistakes. But, to God it’s all beautiful—every dent, scratch, and stain. He looks down and sees us, mistakes and all, and loves us just the same!
When I stand before God, I don’t want to be a book full of empty pages. I want to be the book that looks like the cat dragged it in from the rain, but is filled with the scribbling of a life that has recklessly pursued Him— sometimes made mistakes and had to start over—but never lost its value. I want to be that book.
I want to be the book that has every experience inscribed, each embossed with His Name, a book that tells the story of reaching the lost in a hopeless world. He cares about all of the scribbles, redo’s, and ripped out pages. To Him, our story is beautiful.
So, what are you writing?
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails”
“And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.'”
Revelation 21:5 (ESV)
“Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus.”
Acts 3:19-20 (ESV)