For the past four years, I have been so blessed with the opportunity to share some thoughts, feelings, and life happenings with the readers of this newspaper. It has been a journey of self-discovery in a way; a place where I’ve been able to realize that one of the greatest gifts that God has given me is the ability to write for enjoyment; and not just for myself, but for others to enjoy as well. It is something that I have not used properly for far too long.
There are many people that I need to thank for opening my eyes to this wonderful gift; two of them stand out in particular: from 25-plus years ago, James Hart at Brookfield High School. He was the one who molded a raw, untested teenager’s words into something that resembled coherent thought; and also, my brother Ron Davis (a journalistic scholar in his own right) who encouraged me to write more and gave some helpful tips on how to get my point across. Along life’s pathway there were/are numerous college and seminary professors who have pointed this special gift out to me and asked the pointed question, “What have you done with it lately?”
And so, my creative writing began from these very humble beginnings; it turned into a word processing dynamo during one brief period where I was able to churn out two full-length novels, a couple of novellas, and many short stories; and then, sadly, it faded away to just a few paragraphs here and there as the busyness of life encroached.
Alas, my friends, I give you this background of my writing progress to give you the news gently (if you could call it that)…this December 2008 column will be my last one for the Linn County Leader. After almost fifty months, I have grudgingly decided to put away the pen and paper to concentrate more on ministry, and to also fulfill a lifelong dream: finishing those “other” writing projects that I have set aside for far too long.
You know, it has been said that, “all good things come to an end”; this quote originated back in 1374 by the English author and poet Geoffrey Chaucer. He was right in so many ways, it seems, especially as it pertains to writing. Good things do come to an end at one point or another; this is one of those things.
And this monthly column, dear reader, has really been a good thing in my life. To call it a blessing would fall far short and serve as an injustice; words cannot describe the numerous times that a point has been discussed; complimented; ridiculed; or otherwise; over something that was mentioned in Slice of Home, Slice of Life. For the most part, I can only hope that it made people think about their life, or ask challenging questions about their faith, or just reminisce about things as they used to be in the Green Hills area a few decades ago.
So, as a parting thought, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite passages out of Ecclesiastes; the third chapter in this biblical book speaks of a “time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” A time for (fill in your own words here). Folks, I’ve had the time to share so many things in my life with this written word, and I give thanks for that opportunity. I’ve made many friends along the way, and I’ve also been able to share some Truth from God’s Word while doing so. No one could ever ask for anything more than that.
And while this isn’t really goodbye, it does seem sad in a way. So, I’ll just leave you with ”so long for now.” You’ll still see us at Wal-Mart in Brookfield or in other locales; I’ll still be blessed to be in the pulpits at Bear Branch, Purdin, and Pleasant Grove UMC’s; and Jeannie and I will still lift our voices in song and praise to the Lord Jesus whenever we are asked (that doesn’t interfere with my pastoral duties!). We aren’t going anywhere; this is just a season for doing something else for God…and I will still be feverishly pecking away at my computer keyboard in the hopes of one day finishing that “Great American Novel” that I have always dreamed about getting published, as a lasting legacy for my children, and their children, to share.
My friends, I just want to thank each and every one of you for the ride! It’s been joyous and wonderful and so uplifting. I am richly blessed to have gotten to know so many people through this column, and I thank the Leader for the creative outlet. And, a special thanks needs to go out to Bryan Day and Stephanie Patterson, former editors, and also Polly Taylor, the current editor, of the Linn County Leader.
So, folks, I pray that the Lord will truly bless you and yours all the days of your lives. Go with God wherever He leads, and you will be truly blessed.
Grace and peace!