Forward vs Foreword
Got a spelling lesson today. I’d never realized that the front matter of a book, the introductory pitch, written by some famous or inspirational person to get you to read what’s coming, is not a “forward” but a “foreword.” It’s not a ready-set-go. It’s a word that goes before. A preparation for what’s coming.
It hit me in the face when the woman who kindly said she would write the foreword for the book I have written sent me a first draft….before reading the book. She’s like that. A get-it-done type. She played forward (leading the attack on the other team’s goal) on the soccer field, a star striker throughout her high school, college and pro careers. Now she has many years under her belt at the helm of a nearby college soccer program. She is still a forward. (She even drives that way, but let’s not discuss that.)
I had thought these were the same word. They are not. I have misunderstood my assignment. God isn’t asking me to drive harder and harder or faster and faster to accumulate billable hours, to be effective and efficient, to seek opportunity and close every deal on the run. Not so fast!
He didn’t mean for me to be forward; He meant
“I am your foreword. I am the word spoken before your life: the “fore” “word.” And because I know you, your talents, your work, your heart, the demands of your life, I can speak authoritatively about the story you are. I can invite people to read you.”
Go figure. A simple little difference in spelling: forward/foreword. How many times have I read it, yet never noticed? Not until I thought about what someone might say did it even get my attention. It is funny, the order we humans do things: write the book, then write the foreword.
But what a heavenly notion…that after God knew all there was about me, He wrote-spoke the front matter to my life, my fore-word. I thought it was just a direction and a shove…forward! Onward! Full speed ahead! Instead, it was God saying what He already knew about my life. Here world, read this. You’re gonna love it!
What a great writing assignment that would be: “write the foreword for your own life in 500 words or less.” Check your work. Spelling counts. Go!