Welcome to Ryley Writes, a collection of thoughts, stories, and work from deep in the heart of Texas.

Sunday School Writing

shoutout my iPhone

shoutout my iPhone

Mornings for me start the same every day.

I brush my teeth. I make The Coffee. I crawl back in bed.

And I have... quiet time?


Is there a word for this that doesn't sound horrifically cheesy or boring?

The truth is that I always stumble through explaining this to people, because I feel like a third grader when I try and find a cool way to say, "Uh, I read my Bible and pray."

If I really believe what I say I believe — and I do — then to be able to crack the spine on the very words of God should leave me without ones of my own. To be able to just come crashing into the throne room at any moment and be welcomed as a child of the sovereign King should drive me to my knees in gratitude. I annoy myself with my thoughts sometimes, guys. That he knows and cares for every one is a feat of absolute, insane kindness and patience the extent of which I will never get over.

Yet when I'm talking to others, be it a friend or the teenagers in my youth group, I tend to brush over it, assume it's something that we all know and are familiar with to the point of it being insignificant.

But common knowledge does not indicate common nature.

Maybe "Sunday school answers" are Sunday school answers because they're the right answers; because in most any given situation, they really, truly apply. I fear that we dismiss the most important aspects of our faith because we mistake simplicity for lack of power.

I've been working a new job for a little over two months now. Long enough to have finally figured out how to work the break room keurig (game-changer) and that our wifi reaches the building's back staircase outside (major key to success). Short enough to still feel uncertain; to be keeping my head down and mouth shut and risk my coworkers thinking I'm void of personality in order to first figure out how the office culture ticks.

Already, though, people are asking me, "What's next?"

"How long do you think you'll be at this job?"

"What would you like to do after?"

"Where do you see yourself in a year or two?"

And I completely understand where they're coming from. I'm a storyteller. When it comes to my own life, of course I want the pen.

I'm not one to lack for big ideas and big dreams. I want to do all the things! I want to go all the places! I feel all the feelings, and I feel them really big, man! My tendency is and always has been to take control; to pick a big, bright goal down the road and chase it down.

If I try and do that now, though, did I learn a thing at all in the past year?

I am saved by and serve the Creator of the universe, the Author and Perfecter of faith. Between the two of us, guess who's the better writer?

He is good, and His plan for my life is better than the best I could come up with on my own. I have made a conscious decision to surrender the pen to Christ and let Him write whatever story He pleases on the pages.

I have no idea what that's going to look like in the long run. It's probably better that I don't, honestly; because even if I know where God wants me in a year or five or ten or twenty, the likelihood of Him taking the most linear path there hovers somewhere around zero percent. Simply aiming for His will in the future often means I sacrifice a lot of his blessings and appointments in the present.

So instead of trying to figure out the next year, I'm just trying to wake up every day and ask Him for direction in the next minute.

I don't read my Bible and pray out of obligation, or because they're nice, Sunday school things to do.

I read the Bible and pray because I'm a little desperate; because when I live in a state of submission to the Holy Spirit, I'm not just reading words on a page and filling a notebook with thoughts. I'm having a back-and-forth conversation with the author of my story, and I wake up every day in need of the next sentence.

Scurry Gifts