Well, now I'm waiting for Him to do something. Which means, I'm waiting to hear back from two publishers, trusting that God will pick one of these and that He'll pick the best one for my (His) story.
Honestly . . . the waiting has been painful.
So, I thought it'd be good to open up a conversation about what I've given Him. I decided to compare my gift to receiving a bicycle. I suggested that if one is given a bike, it's best to ride it instead of locking it up in the garage to collect dust. You see, I thought the comparison of a bike was quite clever on my part. After all, a bike gets you places, but it's also beneficial to ride (it keeps you healthy because you're getting a fair amount of exercise). My hope is when folks read my story that they will be moved, that they will want to open their Bibles and learn more about their Creator, that eventually (if they haven't already) they will turn their lives over to our Lord and Master, or simply grow closer to Him if they already do have a relationship with God. But that can't happen if the story stays in my computer to collect dust and never gets read. Wouldn't you agree?
Well, I'm hoping the Lord agrees. It IS His gift, to do with as He pleases, but I hope He keeps me (the giver) in mind. After all, it'd be rather disappointing if you gave someone a bike and never had the pleasure of seeing him ride it. Right? That's partly where the joy comes from with giving. Don’t you think?
Aaahhh, yes. This is my logic, the logic I use when trying to convince my Father of something I so desperately want. My fear is, He won't ride his new bike until I'm dead and having a grand ole time in Heaven and I have more magnificent matters before me. You see, I'm writing my stories whether they get published or not. If they're only meant for my children and my children's children to read, so be it. But I was hoping to reach a much larger audience.
This brings me back to the days when I've taken my Father by the hand every time we'd enter the grocery store together. I'd say with a thrill of excitement in my voice (of course, this was all internal; on the outside, I looked like an ordinary shopper--with either a flare of intelligence or a just-got-out-of-bed-look--but no different than anyone else around me). Anyway, like most kids do to their parents while in the grocery store, I'd say, "Come with me, Papa. I have something to show You." Clapping my internal hands with glee, I'd lead Him to the extended bestseller bookshelf (not the bestseller bookshelf, the EXTENDED bestseller bookshelf). I'd point to it with my eyes and say, "Will you please put my book there? Pleeeease? Pretty pleeeease? Pretty pleeeease with sugar on top?"
When I shared this ritual with my husband, he laughed and said he imagined God would, with His sense of humor, have my book land on that shelf by accident, by someone misplacing it, or something like that. Well, I "humphed" and made it clear I didn't appreciate my HUSBAND'S sense of humor on the subject one bit! Of course, after that I made sure to pray in EVERY store I entered from that point on. I'm sure the Lord really "appreciated" THAT outcome.
I'm not the greatest writer on the planet, and honestly, I'm ashamed to say where I think my writing abilities rank (this doesn't mean I don't try to do my absolute BEST). But I've seen average writers land on that bookshelf, so why not one of my stories? Right? Besides, I also firmly believe, since God can part the Red Sea, getting my book on the extended bestseller bookshelf, for Him, would be a piece of cake.
Alas I wonder . . . is this all about pride, or is it a strong desire to reach those who are lost and searching? My answer: both. Wish I could say it was only the latter. Pride can't be a good thing. Yet, don't we all take pride in the gifts we offer? Especially those gifts we've created?
I like the bicycle analogy. I think of it more as offering God a bouquet of flowers to display as He sees fit. But then, I'm not terribly athletic... lol. I also believe there is a certain innocent pleasure and joy that comes from knowing that God has used you, is using you--that is completely other than pride. Combined with humility and wonder that God would use me--or you--I think it's a good thing, and I don't believe God wants us to beat ourselves up over that joy in service.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Krysti! I'd love to think that God is using me, but I often feel like it would be arrogant of me to say that. I mean, who am I? God doesn't need me. At the same time, we read of Him using his servants all the time in the Bible. Hmm. This is really something to think about. I just pray that He's pleased with what I do, and that I've not just convinced myself that He's using me when He's really not. Am I making any sense? I don't mean to sound negative. I just come from a background of folks who say, "God wants this or that," but they were cruel things that I now know weren't things that God would ever want. I guess, I'm always afraid of getting caught up in that kind of deceit. Boy, this is deep. Whew! But it's opening my eyes to see that if I know what I'm offering is "good" in the true sense of the word, then why wouldn't God use that in me? Thank you, Krysti! I just sorted all that out right here in this comment. LOL It brings to mind a song I love by Casting Crowns. Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=othmFqaw0Yk.ReplyDelete
You've probably heard it. :-)
Thanks for sharing your insights with me. It may sound strange that one comment from you could help me to become a better person, but I believe that's what just happened! xxx
I was just reading an article over breakfast this morning about our ambitions. The writer dwelt on Eph. 3:20-21 "Now him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to Him be the glory..." The point she made was that perhaps, far from being greedy, perhaps we limit God when we make our plans. We should trust he can accomplish our dreams - and more - if we give him the glory and move out of his way!
what a great idea to promote our favorite (struggling) authors. Is it immoral to accidentally place someone's novel on the best seller rack? LOL!ReplyDelete
Great post, Sandi. Check this verse out that I feel the Lord gave me for the year. II Chron 15:7.
Hope it blesses and encourages you.
Right there beside you, Sandi! (Ok, maybe not side by side on the same bookshelf since our topics differ, but you know what I mean! LOL)ReplyDelete
It is hard to wait, though.
Susan, I read Ephesians and continued on into the next chapter, and it spoke about the different gifts we're given. It was so encouraging! Thank you for sharing that verse. I definitely know God can accomplish my dreams, I just don't know if it's His will or not. Only time will tell. And in the meantime, I'll do my best not to try and run things. :-)ReplyDelete
Kathy, as usual you came up with a most fitting verse! How do you find those gems? I totally love your idea to "accidentally" place our friends' books on the bestseller shelves! I'll have to remember that one.
Thanks for coming by, Victoria. Someday we'll accomplish our dreams. Our books can smile at each other from across the shelves. LOL
I believe God uses all of us. And it's not prideful or arrogant to grasp that truth. Instead I think it's freeing. God loves people. With an extravagant love. Throughout the entire bible we see God using PEOPLE to accomplish what he wants - all the time. Does he need us? No, but he has chosen to use us. And it is HE who lavishes us with gifts, and he's given you the gift of writing, so strive & hope for the best! Even the extended best-sellers list! And keep asking for it. I just know he smiles every time you do. :)ReplyDelete
Oh, Karin. Thank you so much for your encouraging words. :-) I love the new picture! It's lovely daaaahhhhhlingks!ReplyDelete