What would you write if you were asked to share your story? If you were only given one page, which parts of your life would you highlight?
Would you share about surviving being bullied as a child? That conversation is one that is easier to have these days. Still, a vitality important one to have. I could spend the next 841 words helping those who have been bullied.
Maybe I could use the remaining 827 words encouraging those who have been raped. Considering the prevalence of it and the shame that can be associated with surviving such an ordeal, it could be argued that it would be a worthwhile use of my one piece of paper.
As long-lasting as the effects as something as traumatic as that can be what if I instead chose to use my remaining 764 words (yes they go quickly) trying to give those dealing with chronic conditions one more reason to say one more day. The daily drain of living with something that drains you can be hard for others to comprehend. That would be an important conversation to have.
What about those that are one breath away from saying I can't deal with this any more. Surely my remaining 706 words would be best used on those most critical.
The problem is I have no way of knowing who you are. I don't know if you are reading this just after it's been published and are struggling with the isolation of the current lockdown. You could be reading this years from now in a vastly different world to 2020. You could have lived through all these scenarios or none of them. Statistically speaking you know at least one person who has, even if they haven't told you.
I could list any number of categories of people drawing from what I have learned from life experience. All would be a valuable use of my remaining words. There's one thing that everyone shares in their journey regardless of which country they were born in. Millionaires, the homeless all ask the same question.
Who am I?
Identity is at the heart of everything we do. Was I an athlete when I won the Murray River Marathon? When I retired from that sport was I still an athlete? When my media career was interrupted by an impatient car driver who was I, if I could no longer provide for myself? When you meet someone for the first time how do you introduce yourself?
I could easily fill hundreds of pages telling you of near-death experiences. Falling in love, dealing with heartache. I could write a memoir alone just on my travels. Through it all though would run the underlining theme. Who am I?
It is with that question in mind I choose to use my remaining words to cover everyone reading this, to say when you get that question answered, it doesn't matter what circumstance you find yourself in.
I was forced to face that question more than ever before when I was medically retired by age 30. Though I would never want to live through the pain of the years that followed, it did prepare me for 2020. With my identity no longer revolving around who someone else said I was. The events of this year have affected me a lot less than they would have previously, now that my identity is shaped by the one who created me.
Endless supply of peace
It's been refreshing to be tapped into an endless supply of peace. I've felt so privileged to be the one checking in on others rather than being the one needing to be checked in on. So please permit me to use my remaining 285 words to say, that you were born for a purpose.
You weren't a mistake or an accident. Despite what you've been told during your life till now, you are loved. You are worth something.
I have no way of knowing if you have ever read the bible before. Maybe the only God you've seen in your life is people who claim to serve him, but these same people have brought unbearable suffering to your world.
All I know is despite the hypocrisy I've seen in my life, people's representations of God good or bad, have never changed who he is. His identity has never, and will never, change. It may have taken sliding down the highway in peak hour traffic for me to finally discover that, but I'm thankful I can now say; My story as entertaining a read as it would be is nowhere near important as His story.
What if you said out loud. “God if you are real, reveal yourself to me.”
What if you didn't rely on the guy on tv asking for money to form your idea of who he is but instead you picked up a bible and read the book of Matthew. It really is just one chapter of the book though. Don’t stop there.
I've found it encouraging to read it. So encouraging that I kept going. I pray whatever you are currently dealing with, where ever in the world you are, that these last 856 words have helped you. I've discovered his reality beyond what my brain can comprehend and it's so much better than living in fear. Going to bed happy sure beats crying myself to sleep.
What have you got to lose? Ask him now.
Neville Hiatt is a storyteller
(can you tell by the creative way he wrote his story). Be it with a camera, computer, microphone or even a pencil and the back of an old envelope and he will create for you a world different to your own. A country boy at heart he was born in a small town in the south eastern corner of Australia. He spent as much time in worlds created by other authors as the one he had been born into.
From having speech therapy as a child he went on to spend a decade working in radio, which took him around the globe. His life was radically changed when he was medically retired before his 30th birthday, due to a life changing accident.
Left battling depression, anxiety and chronic nerve pain as a result of the accident he became even more passionate about sharing his life experiences and imagination in the hope of inspiring others in their journey.
A decade later and his life changed again in another instant as he was miraculously healed while at church one day. A split second dramatically altering his life a second time over. Now he is more interested in sharing His story than his own.
Neville Hiatt was the 2020 Press Services International Tronson Senior Writers Award Winner for Australia. His previous posts for can be read here. He spent a decade working for Radio Stations before his career was intermissioned by someone in a hurry to get home from work. For more of his award winning creativity visit http://nevillehiatt.com. He also blogs for http://altcoincollege.com/ covering the way cryptocurrencies and blockchain are changing our world.