Everything Good Comes at a Price
by Marion Duckworth, OCW Prayer Team
I grew up in Coney Island where the amusement park set off king-sized fireworks on the Fourth of July. We spectators sat on blankets on the beach, watching rockets splash pink, red and gold displays in the night sky. Mom and I ohhed and ahhed at the starbursts and trails of what looked like tiny fluorescent fish. Finally, with a last, grand thundering crescendo, it was over.
I walked home with a party in my head. While the display had been exciting, I knew that wasn’t what made our country great. What made America great were the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the freedom to be the best we can be. American soldiers fought for that freedom, I also knew. It cost my first boyfriend, Jackie, his life.
Everything that is important comes with a price, I soon learned—including my chosen profession of writing. I can’t simply put down the bare bones of an idea on paper and call it a masterpiece, pouncing on anyone who dares change a word. I have to be willing to revise and revise again. Does that come easily? Hardly! Revisions are sweaty. So I have to pray for humility and the maturity to take criticism graciously and decide what is valid. I have to write what is helpful, not merely to vent my spleen. For the profession of writing isn’t a one-shot, Fourth of July splash. It’s jeans and tennis shoes and dirt on our faces.