Guideposts was the earliest memory I have of a magazine. Even as a tiny tot I “read” it. Maybe I picked it up because it was small and fit my little hands. Maybe I read it because the stories were short and held my attention. Maybe it was the only reading material to be found in the bathroom. There were other magazines in my home, I know. But my earliest memory was Guideposts.
When I became an adult and left home, that was the end of Guideposts for me. I never subscribed to it. I guess I knew it still existed because I would see it left on nightstands at the homes of my parents and my in-laws. But I’m pretty sure over the course of several decades I never picked up an issue and perused it. This past Christmas I received a subscription as a gift from my mother-in-law. And lo and behold, not a thing about the magazine has changed. It’s still small and the stories are still brief. The content is the same – uplifting stories about ordinary people experiencing the divine.
In a recent issue I noticed that Guideposts sponsors a writing contest. The only requirement to enter is a first person account of a life changing experience, written in under 2000 words, and how the writer’s faith has been deepened. The winner of the contest goes to an in-depth writer’s workshop held somewhere in New York in the fall.
My immediate thought was, “Hey, this is for me! I’d love to attend an intense workshop and receive bona fide instruction!” So, entering the contest has been my plan … until today … when I sat down to write. I realize I have had no life altering experience to tell about. I’ve had no angelic visitation. I’ve had no brush with the hereafter. I’ve had no experience where my faith has been tested. My faith has just always been there, constant as the tide, not many rapturous mountaintops and not many desolate valleys. And even though that’s not a bad thing, I don’t think that’s the kind of story Guideposts is looking for.
So I won’t be entering the contest. I’m just not a Guideposts kind of girl. And that’s not a bad thing, either.