Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Christian Excuse

Tuesdays with Tiffany
By Tiffany Colter

Philippians 4: 13 " I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Look at this verse above. This verse has been twisted and warped and quoted and memorized. Today I want to apply it. I want to look at it as it pertains to writers.

The life of a writer can be excruciating with all of the rejection, perfection and trying again. We pour months of our life in to a manuscript that may only get a 15 second glance from an acquisitions editor or other designated gatekeeper. So this verse is very encouraging. It says God strengthens us.

Recently the ACFW was talking about how a person knows they're called to write. Every writer who serves Jesus will ask that. When we feel overwhelmed or rejected we'll ask again and again "Did you actually call me to do this?"

I was thinking about that and I remembered a few other people in the Bible who had it a little tougher than me.

Samuel was taken from his mom to live in a church where the priest [Eli] was not living the faith. So he was in an abusive church. He was hungry for God's presence and trying to grow in faith while having no example [other than the mom he saw once a year]. Then he spoke over Saul who ended up being rejected by God. He was only trying to do what God said and look at the mess he made.

Sometimes I feel like Samuel. I'm trying to pursue writing but no one in my family is really in to the writing thing. My step-mom who lives 1,200 miles away is a voracious reader of fiction but, like Hannah with Samuel, our rare visits don't allow me a chance to really talk about craft.

How about Jeremiah? He has that great verse in Jeremiah 29:11 where God says "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

But, did you read first in Jeremiah 20 where Jeremiah was beaten? God was reassuring Jeremiah because the prophet had gone through of the ringer.

Sometimes I feel like Jeremiah. I see what is going on around me. Everything is falling apart. The industry is slowing down. Things aren't selling. I need to know what is going on. Why was I called when there is so much destruction? So God reassures me! Like Jeremiah God says "I'm still protecting you."

And then there is Isaiah. He lived through the death of a righteous king. When a king died the future of the prophet was uncertain. King Uzziah died and Isaiah faced an uncertain future, but God was reassuring. When Isaiah was worried-God appeared. Isaiah 6:1,8 "1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?' And I said, 'Here am I. Send me!'"

Sometimes I feel like Isaiah. I have an uncertain future in this writing thing. Sometimes I work hard with no results and sometimes a project comes easily and sells just as easily. I never know what result I'll have until I try.

And then there was Paul who endured beatings, stonings and loss of all he'd ever wanted to win others to Christ.

We need to pursue God, no matter the result. We need to do EVERYTHING as unto God. We need to pursue perfection and trust God for the results. If we are giving God our best He says He'll keep us on the right path and lead us to a wonderful future [no matter what we feel based on what we see around us.]

So is our lack of publication due to a lack of preparation on our part or a lack of God's call? Are we working to improve or looking for escape? Are we inspired to pursue our dream no matter the cost?

Or is the statement "maybe I'm not called" nothing more than a Christian Excuse?

Tiffany Colter is a writer, speaker and writing career coach who works with beginner to published writers. She can be reached through her website at www.WritingCareerCoach.com
Learn more about Tiffany's Marketing techniques on her main blog.
Read Tiffany's award winning manuscript "A Face in the Shadow" on her fiction blog.

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