Monday, February 14, 2011

Don't Go to the Grave Your Song Still in You

Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them. ~Henry David Thoreau

I just returned from the Christian Writers Guild Writing for the Soul conference. This annual conference is a time for writers, editors, publishers, and agents to come together for encouragement, learning, and networking. This was my second time at the conference and I came away with a very long TO DO list of projects and things to work on to build my career. I also have new friends and connections in the writing world. Perhaps the most important, nay, the most important take-away was renewed fire in my heart for this life to which God has called me.

We had the pleasure of great key note speakers this weekend including Liz Curtis Higgs, Dennis Hensley, Brandilyn Collins, and Ken Davis. What amazing stories and advice they gave. I was so enthralled that I took very few notes. I just sat and absorbed, but several things stood out for me and I wanted to share one of them with you.

Ken Davis spoke of looking for signs of life. When he talked about sledding down a mountainside with his grandkids, flying his plane, and other adventures I couldn’t help but nod my head.

Some of you may remember 3 years ago when I had my Year of Living Adventurously. After my mom died much too young I realized I needed to stop living in fear and start living. I did what Ken referred to as looking for signs of life. I stepped out and tried new things. In that year I came to believe that we are meant to do more than just survive life. I believe we are to thrive in our lives.

Ken quoted Henry David Thoreau during this part of his keynote. Thoreau said “most mean lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with their song still in them.” We fail to live because we get caught up in the day to day. And, when we forget, we risk not singing the song that is ours to sing.

Looking for signs of life doesn’t have to mean living life on the edge of danger. It doesn’t have to mean traveling to exotic lands. It doesn’t even mean writing the next best seller.

It does mean taking time to enjoy this incredible world. We show signs of life when we step out and experience new things. It’s about being who God created us to be. Within each of us is a life that it completely unique and all God asks of us is to life that life. He wants us to sing our own song.

Where do you see signs of life your world?


  1. What an inspiring, beautiful post. It is very thought provoking...

  2. Hi Tamara,
    I so enjoyed meeting you at CWG's Writing for the Soul. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this powerful quote. Thoreau's words inspired me several years ago to stop living in fear, and rather live fully how God intended when He created me. Like you, I've ventured out to discover the life God had waiting for me.
    Thanks again,

  3. Lisa, Ken Davis is an excellent speaker and his talk dovetailed so perfectly with where I have been the last few years.

    Thank you for being such a faithful part of my writing journey.

  4. Kathleen, it was so good to meet you last weekend and I enjoyed talking with you.

    I just got a chance to visit your web site. I have all these cards from the conference and am slowly getting a chance to visit everyone's blogs and web sites. That was a definite bonus from this weekend :~)

    Venturing out with God is sometimes scary, but definiely an adventure to be savored.