Use It or Lose It

I do the vast majority of my work on computer now, but I am a fan of pens. Good pens. I love fountain pens. If I take the time to journal, I try to have a fountain pen nearby.

The ink on my hands is just fun for me. My “better” fountain pen has a cartridge where I draw ink from a bottle into the chamber. I always have ink on my finger when I do that. It’s just fun for me. Fountain pens write so well if you have a good one. The ink really flows.

I also have a Lamy fountain pen that is cheaper, more durable so I can take it with me if I’m not wearing a suit (and I never wear a suit), and it writes well. Those have cartridges I just replace when ink runs out.

There is a downside to fountain pens. You have to keep using them. If I don’t consistently use my better pens, the nibs dry up. I have to take it apart, rinse it out, dry it out, make sure I have enough ink… and try again. It’s so much quicker to grab a cheap Bic and start writing, or just get on the computer.

But good things take time. Good things take maintenance. Good things take effort. Good things are often worth the effort. I enjoy the fountain pen. It is a joy to write and I can dream of actually being an author or something when I am writing.

We have a throwaway society. This computer I use today will eventually fritz out and it will not be worth the money to go get it fixed. I will toss it (responsibly, of course!) and go get another cheap computer.

Phone, TVs, cars… we just toss them aside. And it’s hindered us from seeing what is good, and working on what what is good.

We throw away relationships. We throw away commitments and experiences. We don’t know how to walk carefully through and work on something anymore.

The Kingdom of God is good. Yet, too many believers don’t work on it, or FOR the Kingdom. We think it’s just going to get laid on us and we’ll be on our merry way. When things take time, we get upset.

But the Kingdom is worth it. In a throwaway world, doing Kingdom work just doesn’t make sense. We even try to speed it up. We try to make the Kingdom more “fun,” or “cutting edge.” And when the Kingdom grinds at us or we find ourselves in a dry spot, we wonder what’s wrong. The thing is this: nothing may be wrong. It’s just the Kingdom at work. We’re just used to the fast-paced excitement.

You have to keep at it in the Kingdom. You have to keep using the gifts. You have to keep growing in the faith. Let your commitment to Kingdom drop off for awhile, and it’s like the nib on a fountain pen. It takes some effort to get things flowing again, but we don’t have “time” for that! So, we toss it aside and go find something else.

The Kingdom is different. It is truly a long slow walk in the same direction. And the walk, while plodding at times, is a beautiful adventure.

Let’s not get tired of doing good, because in time we’ll have a harvest if we don’t give up. 10 So then, let’s work for the good of all whenever we have an opportunity, and especially for those in the household of faith. (Gal. 6:9-10, CEB)

Stay at it. Keep the nib clean and the ink flowing. You’ll find that joy.

3 thoughts on “Use It or Lose It

  1. I think I’m one of those dry nibs trying to scratch something out on paper. How does life get so busy that months or years pass without me even writing on that Kingdom paper?

  2. Excellent post Dan…I can see myself using this post in the near future (with your permission of course) as a point of discussion in class and for a discipleship post in my local church…it’s too good not to share.

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