Dawn awakens and I attempt to do the same. With diet soda in hand and eyes still crusted over from sleep, I drag up the stairs and cross over into hallowed territory. In this sacred place I have witnessed miracles, waged wars and struggled to maintain my sanity. I love this spot nearly as much as I despise it. A turn to the left, my heart aiming to the right, and I sit to translate His daily symphony. My ritual has become almost commonplace, and I fear I might one day forget the awesome responsibility of this call – this blissful, gut-wrenching call.
The sublime dances alongside the mundane and I witness it all as my fingers prepare to transcribe the notes on the page. These two worlds confuse and delight me. Oh, the wonder of such a majestic composition! Oh, the fragility of a heart aching to be used. How great, the ensuing battle between the two. I find myself forever torn between wanting to do His will and wondering if I am capable of constructing even one intelligent sentence. Can I lay down my insecurities and selfish desires long enough to pencil the message the Lord places on my heart this morning? Will there be a message worth conveying?
The instruments begin to warm up – a harsh contrast to my ears as each one pits itself against the other. For a brief moment I’m baffled by the cacophony of sounds, the sheer confusion of it all. Then, miraculously, all of the dissonance fades into one clear, singular note and I am free to begin. My fingertips dance across near-silent keys, a stark contrast to the plinking and plunking of yesterday’s typewriter. Today’s message tip-toes out onto a bright white screen, and I come alive as the oil begins to flow – blessed, holy oil that washes over me with its invigorating power. The music is pouring now, and I am tuned in as never before. I race. I sit idle. I sing in three keys at once. I hold back, suspended in time. I press anxious keys. I wait in silence.
Sometimes, truth be told, I forget to wait. Some days I forge ahead, anxious to meet the deadline, state my case and impress potential readers with carefully crafted words. On those days, pride becomes my friend. We feed one another tasteless foods and toast our victories with empty glasses. Then, just as quickly, arrogance gives way to defeat. There are days when I search aimlessly for words, unable to locate even one. On those days, hopelessness seeps in and the enemy of my soul whispers the phrase I’ve grown to dread, “How can you offer up what you don’t even possess?” Just as quickly, the voice of the Lord echoes loudly in my ears, reminding me that I possess heaven and earth. Heaven, I can share with those on earth. Heaven, I must share with those on earth.
I clamor for forgiveness and the Lord whispers words of solace. Hope kicks in and I’m on my way once more. Faithful fingers begin to dance with joy and something miraculous occurs. In that moment, as heaven and earth meet, self gives way to the Spirit of God. I cease typing and He begins. Tiny black words tumble out onto a barren white screen, then somehow plunge forward into paragraphs. Paragraphs gently press their way into full pages. Pages majestically align themselves to compose chapters, and chapters gloriously sing until they erupt into books. I don’t mind playing the role of spectator as His stories take shape. In fact, I have grown rather accustomed to it.
Tomorrow morning I will rise from my bed and wipe the sleep from my eyes. I will once again face the challenge of the call of God on my life – to write, or not to write? As I step foot onto that hallowed ground I call my workspace, I will empty myself of all I desire and give myself over.
Award-winning author Janice Thompson also writes under the pseudonym Janice Hanna. She got her start in the industry writing screenplays and musical comedies for the stage. Janice has published over fifty books for the Christian market, crossing genre lines to write cozy mysteries, historicals, romances, nonfiction books, devotionals, children's books and more. In addition, she enjoys editing, ghost-writing, public speaking, and mentoring young writers. Janice currently serves as Vice-President of CAN (Christian Authors Network) and was named the 2008 Mentor of the year for ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). She is active in her local writing group, where she regularly teaches on the craft of writing. Janice is passionate about her faith and does all she can to share the joy of the Lord with others, which is why she particularly enjoys writing. She lives in Spring, Texas, where she leads a rich life with her family, a host of writing friends, and two mischievous dachshunds. She does her best to keep the Lord at the center of it all.
You can find out more about Janice at www.janiceathompson.com