Glory to God Alone
Thirteen years. That’s how long it took me to get published. And now I’ve been a published author for 13 years. In the 26 years of Before and After, my greatest struggle has remained the same: avoiding the temptation to define my worth by my writing.
That’s the spiritual danger inherent in any career we might have in this world, even if the work is devoted to furthering the Gospel of Christ. It’s a trap that spills over from our culture and I find myself wrapped up in it: even my “heavenly work” must succeed by worldly standards or else my life is meaningless.
But there’s a problem with this sort of logic. Once you’re published, the temptation simply takes on new dimensions. It moves from If only I can get my novel published to a host of other targets: If only I can write a best-seller….If only I can win an award….If only my novel is made into a movie….
The if onlys are endless and the bar continues to rise and it’s only too easy never to reach a place of satisfaction. Oh, sometimes I feel like I’ve accomplished something. But the vast majority of the time I feel as though I’ve barely scratched the surface of success.
Before I was published, I remember standing at a bookstore window, staring at the books on display inside. When it came to authors, I was literally and figuratively on the outside looking in. I thought I would never join their ranks; it seemed little more than a pipe dream. Lord, I thought, why did you give me the desire to write? Isn’t this a good thing that I want to do?
Yes, it’s a good thing. But it can be undertaken for bad reasons. It can even become an idol, if one isn’t careful.
I have to be constantly careful and remind myself of this: My talents is from God and for God. Period. To believe that the talent is there to feed my own sense of self-worth is to believe a lie.
God didn’t put the dream of writing in my heart so He could crush it. Neither did He put it in my heart so it would become an idol. He gave me both the dream and the talent so that, through my small stories, I can reflect the Grand Story of His love.
You can read more about Ann and her work at http://www.anntatlock.com/