Inspired by the Word

By Samantha McKenzie

121de387-f010-436e-8bc3-456c71a205c1“In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the Word was God.” The Holy Bible, John 1:1

Believe it or not, I began my college career as a finance major even though math was never my strong suit. In 1985, when I was enrolling in college, I had no clue what a major was. I was 17 and unprepared to decide what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, much less what I was passionate about.

I muddled through my first few years of college with no real direction. A former honor roll student in high school, I found myself scraping to maintain a 2.5 GPA. By the end of my second year, I felt aimless and knew I had to figure something out.

I remember walking down the street and asking myself, “What do you like to do?”

What did I really like doing? I like talking to people and I like writing, I answered. Until that moment, I don’t think I paid much attention to careers in writing. My only knowledge about journalism was watching television news shows and reading the daily newspapers leftover on my kitchen table. This lonesome conversation steered me into my new-found love affair with words.

Pearl Cleage - We Speak your Names

I like words in songs, words in poems, words in stories, and words from great speeches. I write down one-liners of words I’ve heard, replay them in my head, waiting on the day I can use them again.

I have come to realize that words guide me and release parts in me unknown. They have rhythm. They have an incredible ability to create movement. They take shape and latch on. They give me cause. They leave me perplexed, wanting more. And they accentuate my very purpose. They help me live a life inspired.

That’s why I’ve fallen all the way in love with writings by W.E.B. DuBois, Paulo Coelho, Dan Brown, Elizabeth Gilbert and Pearl Cleage – to name just a few.

I’ve hit replay on songs by India Arie, Marvin Gaye, Lauryn Hill, Nat King Cole, Corinne Bailey Ray, Tim McGraw and others.

And then there’s you. There wouldn’t be room on the pages to name all of you who have shared words that have opened my eyes. Many of you have written something deeply moving, intoxicated my soul with your wisdom and shifted a small piece of my personal universe with your words. Thank you.

Today, I share these lyrics with you.

…Staring at the blank page before you, open up the dirty window

Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance, so close you can almost taste it

Release your inhibitions, feel the rain on your skin, no one else can feel it for you

Only you can let it in, no one else, no one else can speak the words on your lip

Drench yourself in words unspoken, Live your life with arms wide open

Today is where your book begins, The rest is still unwritten.

Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield

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