I had the awesome privilege of being the keynote speaker at a regional writer's awards ceremony. 116 students, Kindergarten through 12th grade, plus 250 parents, teachers and other family members, gathered to be honored for winning writing contests. They represented a half dozen counties and dozens of schools; not to mention varying in age from 5 to 65. I was already wondering how on earth I had been chosen to impart words of wisdom and encouragement to these aspiring authors, journalists and novelists, let alone find applicable material for my vast audience.
I am often asked where I find the inspiration to write my blog. Not because what I shared is anything of grandeur, but I want to share a different kind of post with you and offer the words I gave to these young writers. You may not be a writer or a blogger or even a tweeter, but I believe the premise applies to each and everyone of us no matter what kind of forum or platform we're given to share.
There are two main points: 1. Tell your story and 2. Be a leader.
As I traveled with ministry teams in college I learned something: even the quietest, shyest, most introverted person can be drawn out when you start asking them to talk about themselves. When you start to peel back the layers and discover who a person has been designed to be at their core, it is a beautiful example of how God has created us so uniquely. These characteristics and personalities all contribute to the person and their experiences...and they make up a story.
You have a message. You have a mission. You have a motive. What is it you can share? What are you passionate about? What is your purpose? Tell your story.
My next challenge to the group was that in giving a voice to their story - whether written or spoken - it propells them to a place of influence. Whatever you're sharing of yourself has the potential to impact others. And so to this technology-infused generation, I cautioned them to choose their words wisely and not use their skill as a weapon. Rather, to share the gifts, talents, and stories in such a way that their passion is seen and it causes others to be inspired, impacted, influenced.
You might be reading this and thinking I'm crazy if I am suggesting you start your own blog (then again, there are some of you reading this who have a blog but just simply won't make it public!) ... We're all gifted differently. But we all have a story to share and lives to influence. I don't know what kind of platform God has given you - whether a stage, a blog, a card, a hug, a word of encouragement, an email, a bible study, a job, a paper route, a neighborhood... What you've gone through has shaped you. What God has done in you, He now wants to work through you. And as you share - in whatever capacity you've been given - your life and your story has the ability to impact others. You may be the quietest, shyest, most introverted person in the room, but God wants to use you and your life as an example to lead and guide others.
So I ask...will you share? What's your story? You might not be standing on stage or blogging about it, but someone wants to hear it. (Including me!)