Lately, I have been seeing a lot of people beginning the process of analyzing 2019 in preparation for the new year. Taking stock, doing personal inventories, even exiting social media to give them more focus for considering what this last year has produced.
I’m not the best at personal inventories, partly because I have to learn how to not use them as whipping posts to show all of my failures (there is a positive post on failing coming soon 😉 ). However, in all of this, while waiting to have brunch at a very hot spot with my daughter, I started looking at what I had in queue for posts: 22 drafts… 22! And dating back to who knows when. Topics covering the spectrum of relationships, humility, business, culture, scripture and more. And these are the things that I have started, or at least put ideas down for. There are more items that are sitting in my personal scripture study, in my head from conversations with others… you get the picture. Why would I be content to leave these treasures in draft form (or worse yet, to leave them in the idea phase, never even developing them)?
2019 has not been a good writing year for me. While I have had the desire to want to, I have struggled with the “why” of writing. I have put out a couple things that were well received, but each time I have done so, the ogre of self doubt invaded my mind and said, “that’s fine, but no one really wants to hear anything else”. Thinking back, I had such a desire to post something detailing the wonderful birthday weekend I had. The combination of a D.L. Hughley comedy show, astronomy, a friend’s wedding, and time out with Holly and Mackenzie was very memorable, but when it came to putting it out there, I froze. Even after putting together a nice video snippet of it all, I still froze. Now, 6 months later, it still is not posted, and exists only in the minds of those who were there.
Buried treasures… the thought conjures up pictures of pirates, chests of gold, and treasure maps. The interesting thing about them is not even so much what is contained, but the fact that someone, or maybe many people spend all they have looking for them. A map, a legend, and a promise of some treasure sends the adventurer on a journey to hopefully uncover something that will enrich their lives. What if, however the treasure was not buried, but made available to anyone who wanted it?
Jesus told the story of a wedding where people were invited, and one by one each person gave an excuse of why the wedding wasn’t on their list. What did the host do? Did he go into hiding because people didn’t value the opportunity (treasure)? No, he told his servants to go get as many people as would come. “Fill the house!” Basically, if the original invitees wouldn’t come, so what… there would be others who would be glad to come. Treasures made available to anyone who would want it.
Recently I have made connections (and friends) with a number of founders and funders in the greater Portland area. They all tell stories of being turned down by the standard VC firms because they are not “X” enough. The wonderful thing is that they have taken to sharing their treasures with each other. If the VC’s won’t come to our party, so what… we will fund our own. And it’s working, and exciting to see these founders thriving because those who have treasures are not buried, but shared.
As I have been editing this, a story came up on my Google feed, about buried treasure on Mars. Of course, I had to read the story. Were they talking about living beings, or new elements, or evidence of past civilizations? Nope: the treasure for NASA is pure and simple, water. We could look at that and say, “there’s water all over the place here. What’s the big deal?” It is the promise of what the water brings. Similarly, when it comes to your and my gifts, it may not even have anything to do with the tangible item, but what could come from it. Promise and expectation are huge.
So, as I go into 2020, I am purposing to shift… I am getting back to the me that everyone knows – sharing in my primary giftings (writing and ministry), as well as looking to provide my treasure in other ways to those who need and want it. I am looking forward to what the process will bring, to who gets touched by it, and how everyone gets blessed in the process.
For those of you looking forward to 2020, I would also encourage you to dust off your treasure and put it out there. Let’s see what wonderful things can happen when we share our lives with each other.