12 January 2018

This 'n' That

I've long lamented my handwriting. On any given day, depending on the medium, the setting, and/or my mood, it might be a sloppy cursive, a sloppy printing, a slightly more legible printing, or a sloppy "prursive."

The struggle for not only legible, but admirable, handwriting, is one that I've kept to myself. Whenever I see that someone—man or woman—writes with a beautiful, flowing script, I envy them. Yes, I'll admit it. And so I keep trying to force myself to write neatly. Of course, my efforts aren't helped by the fact that I often am writing on my lap or writing in a hurry, but nevertheless, I strive.

My ongoing endeavors to write legibly have, I think, been greatly aided in recent days with the receipt of a fountain pen as a gift at Christmas. I've long been a slave to my favorite ballpoint pens, so this has been quite a change, and one that I believe has been for the better. No, the pen has not magically altered my handwriting into that magnificent script that I wish flowed effortlessly, but it has caused me to slow down and be more deliberate, even if just jotting notes. When you have a beautiful writing tool, you tend to want the output to reflect the instrument.

Of course, the typed word prevails these days, but studies have shown, and I think many of us can testify from experience, that our brains retain things better when we write by hand. Further, handwriting is so personal—who doesn't love to receive a handwritten note from a loved one, knowing they spent time and effort to relay an important message to you? I still have many small notes written by my grandmother, and seeing her handwriting brings back many wonderful memories of her.

You see, whether we like it or not, our handwriting is part of our legacy. It's true, sloppy writing will not taint memories, but would we rather not have those messages we've written be able to be shared for years to come? Oh, sure, we can type our thoughts, but how much more special is that handwritten note?

A far more important part of our legacy, however, is our witness for Christ. Whether our handwriting is akin to professional calligraphy or whether our readers must squint and turn the page in order to decipher our code, at the end of the day, it has no eternal significance. How we live for Christ, then, is far more important. How did we react to the joys and trials of life? Did our families and friends see our trust of God in even the most difficult circumstances? Did the gospel of God's grace drip from our lips at every opportunity? Did our children see us reading the Word, and praying to our Lord?

Let us each pray that our legacy is one that brings glory to God, even after we are gone. Even lovely handwriting will fade, but our witness for Christ will reach into eternity.

With that, why don't you take a few minutes to enjoy your week in review (kind of):

  • For those of you who have children, here are some suggested devotionals for the kiddos (note that I can't vouch for any of them).
  • We must be careful not to engage in reductionist evangelism. Remember, even the demons believe.
  • This would never happen to me.
  • Moody has been busy. This happened. Then this happened.
  • Here's your weekly dose of adorable.
  • I get it that it's cool and trendy to shun all things logical these days. Modern medicine? Who needs it? Filtered and purified water? Bah, I'd rather drink my share of infectious organisms! 
  • I can't decide which aspect of this story saddens me most.
  • It might not hurt to know the basics about these trinitarian controversies.
  • I love this. I would help free the moose, too!
God never places us in any position in which we cannot grow. We may fancy that He does. We may fear we are so impeded by fretting, petty cares that we are gaining nothing, but when we are not sending any branches upward, we may be sending roots downward. Perhaps in the time of our humiliation, when everything seems a failure, we are making the best kind of progress. God delights to try our faith by the conditions in which He places us. A plant set in the shade shows where its heart is by turning towards the sun, even when unable to reach it. —Elizabeth Prentiss

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