Abiding with Jesus

Are We Willing to Pursue the Undiscovered Life?

“If you’re able to continue writing while embracing the assumption that no one will ever read your work, it will reward you in ways you never imagined.”

No one will ever read your work. I couldn’t forget the statement. It was hard to receive and put so bluntly.

I don’t think any writer, including myself, wants to assume this statement to be true as they pour forth the depths of their heart, stringing and re-stringing their words into thoughtful patterns and creative rhythms. Truthfully, we are hoping someone else, better yet, many hearts will be touched by the work of our words.

Remaining invisible, undiscovered, a mere face in the crowd, is disheartening for most of us and usually translates into feelings of insignificance. Why then would I even attempt to write or create or mother (or you fill in the blank) if I assumed this to be true-that no one would ever read it or notice or care?

Very few are willing to wait for and seek the reward of the undiscovered life. Our imagination simply cannot fathom what it would be like if we gave ourselves to the quiet. We fear our lives would become only a whisper into world.

We cringe at the thought, no one will ever read your work, because it reveals a part of our heart we’d rather ignore.

We want both the crowds and Him. 

Surely, we can have both, we reason with ourselves.

Whether I’m writing pages in a future book, nurturing my children, chasing down a dream, or creating beauty with my hands, there is treasure I’m unwilling to uncover because I’m too busy waiting and wanting to be discovered. “Will anyone ever take interest in this, will it ever sell, or be published, or be complimented?”  These questions send me back into the cycle of doubt, depression, and production.

I take the shortcut.

I write too quickly. I shout my accomplishments. I despise the invisible growth. I hate the long and winding road to a Spirit-birthed dream. I share too soon.

I have trained my imagination to only envision results I can see and touch or measure and prove, instead of allowing myself to picture the beauty of what might transpire from wading into the mystery of God’s heart without a specific, noteworthy outcome. 

The person who can bask in this undiscovered life eventually finds unending thrills, contagious joy, and real purpose as they embrace with open arms the assumption that no one will ever read my work or these words, no one will ever see how I passionately care for my children or love others, or create masterpieces in my studio.

Those who live the undiscovered life have learned to practice the art of deep, slow living, pondering and lingering over their lives and other’s lives in prayer and with perseverance. They keep secrets with God and harbor mystery in their lives. They forage for His truth like an expectant explorer, letting His words steep in their souls for more than a few fleeting moments. They approach each day as a back-country adventure with God.

The undiscovered life is set free to imagine beyond what fits on paper or a planner or their personality, and moves quickly past culture’s driving desire to make a difference, an impact, or an influence.

In choosing to pursue the undiscovered life they have unknowingly discovered the hidden treasure of knowing Him and being known by Him. Their whispers end up being heard through the centuries. 

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Comments (3)

  1. Oh Charissa, you have no idea how much I needed this today. Thank you. Is the opening sentence a quote from someone else? I’m writing it down to keep it close by. I also love the idea of a backcountry adventure with God. SO BEAUTIFUL. Thank you, as always, for your words. You are so inspiring.