More than just a rag

More times than not, I find it in the box of cleaning rags. But, it’s not a rag, it’s my towel. My favorite towel.

Yes, you could probably read a newspaper through its frayed fibers. And, sure, its edges are unraveling. But it’s the one I want when I dry my hair because it’s perfectly suited for what I need. I don’t want to balance a three-pound bath towel on my head while I put on makeup.

My dear husband does the bulk of our laundry. He puts  away the socks, the t-shirts and other assorted items that are washed with the towels. The cleaning rags he puts in a box on the shelf above the washer. The remaining towels are simply left in the laundry basket on top of the dryer. After all, it’s just as easy to grab them from there as it is to fold them and put them on a shelf.

So, I rifle through the basket in search of my ever-shrinking towel, and after a couple of minutes of fruitless digging it occurs to me. Check the rag box. There it is; my towel that’s not a rag.

This morning when I grabbed it from the rag box once again, I considered how different people see things differently, and value things differently. My towel has great value to me. It took hundreds of washings and dryings to reduce it to a manageable size. I see it as irreplaceable. My husband sees it as a rag.

It made quite an impression on me this morning, my rag of great value. I had just finished my quiet time when I grabbed it and headed for the shower. An internal battle brewed during my quiet time, as it has for weeks. I’m battling something I believe God is calling me to do, and my doubts as to whether or not I can do it. You see, I’m told I need a platform. I don’t have a platform.

I’m working on a book proposal. I’m learning to write a book proposal. I’m researching every facet, what it should contain and how it should be written. Some resources recommend a few optional sections, but most contain a half-dozen or so in common.

There’s the Overview. There’s the Market. There’s the Chapter Outline. Sample Chapters. The Author Bio. Then, there’s the Platform.

Oh, the Platform.

Here’s what my research has taught me about a Platform. It’s how many people I know, and who I know, and who will potentially buy the book I’m proposing. It’s a compilation of all the things I’ve done. My unique blog visitors. My website page views. My Facebook followers. How many articles I’ve written for major publications.

Well, guess what? I don’t know that many people, and I don’t know who will buy my proposed book. My unique blog visitors are few. The same goes for my website page views. Facebook followers: minimal. Articles I’ve written for major publications? Really?

I have no platform. I need a platform, and I need one now. The realization sent me into full-blown Platform building mode. That lasted less than a week before I realized it simply wasn’t going to happen. Besides, during that time I hadn’t written a single thing for God.

It had all been about me. And my Platform. God gave me that full-blown realization when He led me to a particular Bible verse, for the second time in a matter of days.

forsaken first love Revelation 2.19 NIV

The love I had at first. My love for writing the words God gives me to write. My love for God Himself. I had put it all aside to set myself up on a platform, because I saw myself as insufficient. I saw myself as a rag.

This morning God showed me the value in rags.

God has chosen what is insignificant and despised in the world — what is viewed as nothing — to bring to nothing what is viewed as something. (1 Corinthians 1:28, HCSB)

I’m not a three-pound, fluffed up, designer bath towel. That’s not what He requires for the job He’s given me. He requires one who’s been through the wringer a couple hundred times. He requires one who’s been tumbled upside-down in scorching heat, only to be left bone dry. He requires one with some transparency. And He finds those qualities irreplaceable.

All He requires of me is to do the thing He has called me to do, and it’s not Platform building. He’ll do that. He’s the Carpenter.

18 thoughts on “More than just a rag

  1. A beautiful post which truly puts it all into perspective. May we do that which He is requiring of us & leave the rest to Him. I am so glad we were neighbors this morning at The RaRa Linkup. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. True. He will build it. I’ve gone through a similar journey in my mind, Janet. There’s finally rest in simply enjoying the journey with Him and letting the Lord guide the steps. All that other stuff, the trying and striving on my own power? It’s too stressful. 🙂 Thanks for sharing from the depths of reality.

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  3. Hey Janet … so good to meet you today … I love what you’ve written about groundbreakers … and to take an old rag and create a beautiful post is a gift indeed!

    But most of all, your last paragraph rang oh-so-true for me … and in that truth is peace and complete trust in the Carpenter, who knows what He’s creating in us and through us.

    I’m glad He’s allowed our paths to cross …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for such kind and encouraging words, Linda. I just got a chance to read your post about quiet time and three of your favorite devotional books for your quiet time. I could so relate to the things you said about how we can make it so legalistic. What a battle I’ve faced (and still do occasionally) with that one! Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling has been a favorite of mine, too. So nice to read your writing and meet a new friend. I look forward to reading more from you!

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  4. God is God. Platform is platform. Be encouraged Janet. Christ can do all things according to his plans. Yes, we have to obey and be diligent, but nothing thwarts his plan. I don’t know what his plan is for you, but I do know it is for good. Thank you for your honest words in terms of this. I feel blessed that you shared this. Cheering on your truthful words from the #RaRalinkup on Purposeful Faith.

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    1. You are so right, Kelly. God will remain my God, and I will not let myself replace Him with platform! Thank you for your encouragement, and thank you so much for providing your #RaRa Linkup. It has been my first Linkup experience, and what a blessing it has been!

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  5. Janet,
    I totally understand your frustration with platform. I was there a year ago and I wanted to just give up. There were many tears of “why bother. No one is reading it anyway”. And my husband always reminds me that I’m not writing for other people, I’m writing for God. He always says “just keep writing; be faithful”.

    And you know what? As soon as I threw up my hands and said, “God, I’m going to write to You and if no one else ever reads it but You and me that will be just fine” it slowly began to grow. There is a season for everything. God’s timing is perfect. Just be faithful to Him. Write until He tells you to stop
    .
    Also, I love the image of the raggedy towel. Oh, how we make judgements of others and ourselves all the time. And I am invaluable to the One who loves me. But, so are my brothers and sisters in Christ and I need to be sure I treat them like they are invaluable. It’s all about Jesus and my opinions should never be more important than showing HIs love to others. (Yes, I did get that all from your raggedy towel!) 🙂

    I want to share this post with my readers, so I am including it in my “Read-Worthy Weekend” list that will publish later today. #RaRaLinkup

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    1. Such wonderfully wise words from both you and your husband. I’ve seen something recently that references the fact that we’re really writing for an audience of One. I love that thought. Thank you so very much for your encouragement and for your endorsement! What an honor!

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  6. Hi Janet! I also took a whack at studying book proposals. Yikes. I’m in the same boat as you are, and it sure makes you feel ‘less than’. Like I’ll never get anywhere!
    Love the point that Jesus is your platform builder, as he is the carpenter. We all are not blessed with tons of traffic, huge numbers of followers…but that doesn’t mean we don’t have something valuable to say. I hope you’ll continue to follow your dreams!
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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