Friday, April 4, 2008

Six Word Memoirs -- Hope Chronicles 32

What can you say in six words? There is a new book out that says a lot or at the very least makes you wonder some about the person who wrote it. It is titled NOT QUITE WHAT I WAS PLANNING: SIX WORD MEMOIRS BY WRITERS FAMOUS AND OBSCURE.

I know about it because of working in the bookstore. It's one of the books we are "encouraging." I'm not sure it is one that I would personally pick, but it does garnish a little interest. Not sure if it is urban legend or not, but the story goes that someone once challenged Ernest Hemingway to write a story in six words. He reportedly wrote "For sale: Baby shoes, never worn." Thus, the idea for the book.

At the bookstore, the rage has been to come up with your own six word memoir. They usually elicit more questions and quizzical looks than anything. My first try said more about where I use to be than where I am at: Phobic horse, anxious dog, grandiose delusions. (1. I use to take lessons on a horse with a phobia of concrete 2. I had an anxious dog at the same time that was on anti anxiety meds 3. I swore that if I had a parakeet it would have delusions of grandeur and think itself an eagle.) Not so great since it took 5 times as many words to explain.

I finally settled on one today. Drum roll: Born pessimist choosing to find hope.

I think I was born a pessimist. If I wasn't born that way, early life experiences taught me to suspect the worst. But this year I am taking that journey of hope. I am choosing to find in amidst the ups and downs, the thrills and disappointments of life.

I've only been at it since the beginning of December -- just about 4 months since my first post on hope. And I am finding it to be a choice. It's an attitude that says that God is present in the midst of every heartache and every laugh. Sometimes it takes a bit of looking to see His fingerprints on the situation.

There is a juvenile detention center in town. It has struck me several times that it sits right next to a popular summer water park. I wonder if it is torture to those kids to see others having so much fun and not be able to join in. I think it would be hard! I imagine there are two ways of dealing with it: pulling the blinds and denying it's there, squelch the longing or gaze out the window and dream and plan for the day when you could join.

As a pessimist, I probably tend to be the first. But I like to think my journey of hope is making me the second. I want to be one who in the darkest of nights turns my face to the east because I know that is where the first rays of the sun will crest. Psalm 121:1-2 puts it this way:

I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?

My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

Is your soul downcast? Look to where you know your help will come from. Eagerly anticipate in spite of everything in life that may tell you it is foolish. Turn your face to the warmth of the coming sun and the coming Son. There are no cliffhangers with God and His word is true.

What would your six word memoir be? Will you share?

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Former worrier embracing faith over fear. I can relate to your six word memoir also. Great post. I loved your comment on Lisa Whittle's blog, and I agree with her - definitely an article in the making.