My best contemplation happens when I am running. No phone, no internet, no interruptions. Just me versus me as I challenge my body to run further and harder than I believe I can.
As I ran along this one particular day under the big, blue Wyoming sky I was contemplating what genre of writing I wanted to be known as. I kept asking myself the question, “what is the purpose of my writing?” I knew it wasn’t simply to make money because there has to be a more important reason to put your name out there for other people to read and often criticize what you write.
The more miles I ran, the more my thoughts solidified and I began to understand more about who I am and what I am being molded to be. I was out on a country road since my beloved Bighorn Mountain trails are snowed in until spring and I wasn’t really paying attention to miles so as the revelation hit me on yet another uphill segment, I was renewed with a new energy.
The challenge I received was an almost audible challenge. Could I use this gift of writing to inspire people? Could I use the power of words to convince people they are capable of far more than they believe they are?
Can I Become an Inspirational Writer
The implications of deciding to be an inspiring writer and author is that there are a number of things I have to put aside. I’m a bit of a smartass so I decided that sarcastic, biting words would have to go and I would have to leave them on the side of the trail as something not necessary to carry with me. I am also more than willing to engage in an argument and because I do have a strong personality I can run over people with my arguments even if I know I’m wrong so that also would have to be left on the side of the trail.
The final miles of this run firmly established how I needed to begin to put aside what won’t establish credibility as an inspirational author and what I needed to fully put on to inspire others.
Silencing the Doubt Monster
Of course, as I finished up the run, the doubt monster attacked and began to question me. “Who do you think you are that you could inspire anybody? You’re not a world-famous author, you’re not wealthy, and you don’t even have a college degree?” “What in the world have you ever done that could possibly inspire other people?” The doubt monster had very believable arguments, but as I cruised into the home stretch, I decided to show the doubt monster that I have what it takes and I sprinted to my car. As I finished out of breath with my hands on my knees, I rose up and thrust both arms above my head and cried out, “I will overcome!”
That is the point where I knew I could be the exact thing that I am being made to be. One of the definitions I found really sums it up for me. “The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.”
Here is why I believe I can inspire you to get out there and go through the hell you will go through to be whatever and whomever you are being made to be.
I was hired by a company as a salesman despite the fact I didn’t have a college degree. In less than three years of taking over a territory that was way under selling, I had become one of the top sales people in our company and my territory was the most profitable in the company. While working at this company I began to travel to a country in Central Asia helping missionaries there try and figure out how to financially get the emerging churches be able to sustain themselves without Western financing. At one point, my wife and I decided that since we were debt free, we would go ahead and move there for two years to really get the project up and rolling. Right around the seventh year, when we had worked out the kinks and things were really starting to roll, the government stepped in and took over the project and kicked us out of the country. We had invested all our savings into the project so when we got kicked out, we arrived back in the United States with two suitcases and about $1000. Starting over again was extremely difficult. Two years after we were back, I went to get dressed for the day and the button on my pants, after a long struggle, popped across the room and I realized that in the depression of starting over I had really let myself go physically. I was depressed, didn’t believe in God anymore and now I was overweight to boot.
This is where my life began to change. I made a decision one day that I didn’t want to live the way I was living. I put aside the daily wine bottle and replaced it with exercise, eventually drifting to running. As I really began to embrace running, I realized I wasn’t fast but I could push myself further and further, eventually settling on marathons. As I ran, I finally broke the number two on the scale. In other words, for the first time I could remember I woke up one day and the weight didn’t start with a 2 followed by two more numbers. The year I turned fifty I decided the best way to signify starting the second half strong was to run fifty miles on my fiftieth birthday. Never mind the fact that my birthday was in July. I finished that first fifty miler and discovered ultra-marathons. I have now finished a bunch of ultra-marathons and keep on running and my weight has plummeted to what I weighed when I graduated from high school almost thirty-seven years ago.
My belief in and faith in God has grown leaps and bounds. I trust Him and I trust where He is taking me. I trust that this is all part of the process and the words He will place in my heart will inspire others to strive to become who they were created to be every single day.
And all it took to decide where I wanted to go as a writer was to go out for a run and silence the noise.
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