Doing my homework…

Posted: October 10, 2012 in Tribe, Uncategorized
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I signed up for a writing course taught by Jeff Goins, called Tribe Writers, and my first practical assignment is to write a short, first-person, non-fiction story, and submit it for feedback. I thought posting it here would be an easy way for people to help me improve as a writer. So, I am asking you to read the story, and post in the comments, answering three specific questions: What (if anything) makes this unique? What could I do more of, or less of? How can I improve? Thanks, in advance.

I wonder sometimes about what the inner voices of other people sound like…if their voices drive them as nuts as mine try to do. “Mine” is a plural possessive, here..there is more than one voice involved in the conversation. The reason I wonder this, is I see other people who are never indecisive – they always know what is the right thing  to do, the right word to say. Not that they have it all planned out and carefully scripted, it just seems that nothing ever knocks them off stride. I wish I had that kind of security in the right-ness if my choices…but I don’t. What I have is a Greek chorus of doubt, a litany of past failures, present shortcomings, and pending disasters; in the wings on the other side of the stage, the cheering squad is hard at work, “You can do it!” (The ego slips the squad an extra five to tell me just how great I am sometimes, but I try to discourage that.)

All these voices are my voice..but they’re not, at the same time. None of them are entirely me.I have learned to pay attention to what is said, and how, and I’m getting better at recognizing the sounds of my many voices…describing their many noises is not what I’m trying to talk about though…it’s more the process of learning which voice to trust, which one to listen to the most, that I wonder if others go through as well, or if it’s only me who has to struggle. I learned to trust in the voice of Jesus, speaking to me as His disciple, telling me to trust in Him, follow Him, and He will guide me well. I believe Him.

I manage other people at my job, and counsel people at church, and doing those things is what most often triggers the thought, “What could he have been thinking? Where do you have to be for that to look like a good idea?” I find myself reaching and straining for some kind of common ground, a desire for empathy, a way to get inside and understand their mind…because I think it would look familiar, and maybe I can help them hear a different other voice, a better voice, I think…the voice I follow, of my Lord Jesus. I think so many people are confused by the cacophony of voices, inside and out, all demanding attention and respect. If my lessons in voice-discernment can assist another, how can I do anything less?

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