Saturday, August 20, 2011

I Think

I bet he says "I think."
I still remember one of the first and only writing critiques my dad has ever given me. It went something like this:

“Don’t say ‘I think’ so often. We know it’s what you think, you wrote it.”

I still remember what I was working on. Exchange City. Eight years later, I’m still battling the tendency to insert “I think” or its subtler cousins (I suppose, it seems, it appears to me) into my nonfiction writing (considering my novels are all first person so far, it’s my characters fault if “I think”s show up!).

As I was writing some posts for this coming week, I decided to do a quick document search for each “I think” in three posts. Altogether, there were about five. Generally, they came before pretty bold statements, like: “this matter is between you and God” (I THINK this matter is between you and God) and “this matter is often left out of Christian pep-talks” (I THINK this matter is often left out of Christian pep-talks).

Why did I insert those?

I have a tendency towards doubting my own opinions and thoughts, especially about big stuff like I’m blogging on this week, or more abstract things like literary analysis (sorry, AP Lit teacher!).

“I think” is safe. It points out that this is only my puny little opinion, and isn’t necessarily right.

Of course, it IS my puny little opinion and not necessarily right. That’s why I put it there. Even if it’s only my opinion and not NECESSARILY right doesn’t mean it COULDN’T be right, though, or I wouldn’t be writing it!

Over and over, the same theme comes back to me in my spiritual walk, and it is summed up quite nicely in this phrase: Be Strong and Courageous (Joshua 1:9). As Christians, we are commanded NOT to be afraid, NOT to be dismayed, because our God is with us WHEREVER we go.

My favourite heroes are Strong and Courageous (The Doctor, Robin Hood, even Reepicheep [though he also annoys me]). Alex and Brett Harris’s “Rebelution” is focused on DOING HARD THINGS...which requires strength, courage, and boldness.

I’m a naturally timid, shy person who doesn’t want to talk unless she’s sure of what she is going to say, who hates saying things that are stupid or incorrect, and thinks too much of what OTHERS might think. Still, through love of OYAN, God is pushing me outside of my comfort zone, to lead, to speak, to sell curricula.

If God is with me wherever I go, do I need to hide behind “I think”?

Will I say things that are wrong?

Oh yes.

Will I say things that sound stupid?

If the past is any indicator, YES.

Will I say things that people disagree with and hate me for?

What did Jesus do?

There’s your answer.

Love God, love people, love Truth, live strong, live bold.

Live courage.


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