I’ve been going through a number of older journals of mine, trying to find some gems in them to mine out and blog about. Like many writers, I wince at some of my older writings, hoping and praying that they never see the light of day – or at least not without the help of a good editor. One of the things I find exceptionally humbling is the number of people read this blog and discover something of worth in the words found here. Whether it’s an essay I have written that I know God used to show me something directly, or an entry where, after reading over it, I wonder “Okay – where did THAT come from,” there’s been a point behind all what I have written down and shared – whether or not I have been aware of it.
Of course, this doesn’t stop me from still thinking some of my stuff is total crap.
In fact, my plan was going to make this cool, witty post about how I consider my writings to be “fool’s gold” and not real gold, so I went to the repository of all knowledge (Wikipedia) to find out the mineral composition of fool’s gold. You know – so I could make a joke at my own expense. It was going to be marvelous word-play regarding what I thought about some of my writings.
But what I read caused me to stop dead on my keyboard.
It turns out that the name pyrite – “fool’s gold” – is derived from the Greek πυρίτης (puritēs), meaning "of fire" or "in fire", which is also derived from πύρ (pur), "fire". In ancient Roman times, this name was applied to several types of stone that would create sparks when struck against steel.
Turns out that humble pie has a metallic tinge to its taste.
Now, I’m no theologian. I don’t hold a Masters’ degree in Divinity or any ministerial derivative thereof. I’m not, as I have called so many of my friends employed by churches, a “professional Christian.” I’m just a poor, wayfaring stranger. But even I, in my limited scope of understanding, can infer a few basic principles that God was trying to show me:
Proverbs 27:17. As iron sharpen iron. God uses my words (rather, the words the Spirit gives me; I can’t claim ownership of them) to sharpen myself and others.
Acts 10:15. What God has called clean (my writings), I dare not call impure, or of no worth.
And so I am challenged, as I challenge my fellow writers, speakers, ministers, bloggers, Twitter-ers, and the like. In those moments of wondering if what you do is of any worth, or even if you are of any worth: in the times when you question the quality of your words, in the quiet of wondering if what you do, type or say has any lasting meaning…
Isaiah 55:11. What I write will not go out and return empty. It has a point and a purpose.
It’s not fool’s gold. It is not worthless.
It is precious.
As are you.