As we prepare for Christmas—the family get-togethers, the baking, the decorating the shopping for everyone on our gift list—the topic of God’s gifts to us is a natural extension of the Reason for the Season. Yes, Jesus is the greatest gift God gave us, but He is generous with a million other tokens of His affection. And for this particular blog site, the most appropriate gift to discuss is the gift of passion, the passion to write, in particular.
God gives every one of his human creations a passion for something. Often more than one something. And over time, He blesses us with additional passions.
As a child, I enjoyed writing stories. I liked to sing. But above all else, at the age of four, I knew I would be a teacher. I taught my own nursery school the summer before I entered junior high. I taught Sunday school to fifth-graders when I was sixteen. My greatest joys in college were the days I could go to schools and teach a lesson plan developed in one of my courses. The idea of grading papers every evening was intoxicating (after forty years of the task, not so much). Although I didn’t teach full time while my children were young, I indulged my passion through subbing, tutoring, and part time teaching.
During my teen years, I assumed music was also a passion, but as I matured I realized there’s a difference between talent and passion. God had gifted me with musical talent. I chose a double major of music education and special education just so I could develop my musical abilities. Professionally, I would have made a mediocre musician, at best. The voice was good, but the passion was missing. No spark, no sense of “If I can’t sing and share music with the whole world, life will be a disappointment.” I was content to sing in church, choirs or solos, but to make a career of it? No. I didn’t even like teaching music to kids who had no love for it, much less a passion.
As I approached retirement years, God renewed my love of writing. He gets total credit since writing a novel would never have occurred to me, considering my focus on teaching. He didn’t send a thunderbolt to ignite my passion. It kind of crept up on me. He used my empty nest, allowing me a little more time to write without sports events to attend spring, summer, winter, and fall.
The more I wrote, the more I wanted to write. My passion to teach had gained a rival. Each year, the passion to write intensified, and the love of teaching dwindled.
Writing qualifies as my main passion now. Unlike singing, it’s not simply an enjoyable pastime. If I can’t write something daily, even a paragraph in my journal, I feel I missed out on an exciting experience. I want to make stories from my imagination come alive to readers, and I want to share insights I’ve gained from a lifetime with the Lord. I only hope my words are inspirational to others and pleasing to Jesus.
I still do a little teaching via small groups in my church. And it dawns on me—writing IS a form of teaching. Instead of a classroom, my students sit with a cup of coffee at home reading my little essays or my inspirational stories.
Rather than asking for comments regarding God's writing pathway for you, I have a question for you instead.
Would you be willing to share your writing passion story in our quarterly newsletter?
I can picture us inspiring one another, each with a unique tale of God’s goodness in our lives. My first thought is to title it “Publish the Passion.” The idea did hit me like a thunderbolt, and since thunderbolts are notoriously unstable, I would want a good deal of feedback before initiating our personal testimonials as a regular feature.
So let me know. I look forward to hearing from you!
Linda Sammaritan writes realistic fiction, mostly for kids ages ten to fourteen. She is currently working on a middle grade trilogy, World Without Sound, based on her own experiences growing up with a deaf sister.
Linda had always figured she’d teach middle-graders until school authorities presented her with a retirement wheelchair at the overripe age of eighty-five. However, God changed those plans when He gave her a growing passion for writing fiction. In May of 2016, she blew goodbye kisses to her students and dedicated her work hours to learning the craft. She still visits the school and teaches creative writing workshops.
Where Linda can be found on the web: