Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Relishing the Journey

 

Happy Wednesday, my writing friends!
 
I'm teaching through the book of Acts to a group of junior highers. I love it! Maybe too much.

Yesterday, I was having such fun with the class, I failed to be prudent about time. I glanced at the clock. I only had a few minutes left, but I couldn't speed myself up. Their eyes sparkled with interest. One kid even gasped when he figured something out. Their engagement prodded me to expound deeper and draw more out of them.

Problem was, when it came time to dismiss, I hadn't made my conclusion--which is, of course, the best part! The part where I tell them about how the gospel is for them, how Christ cares for them just like he cared for Cornelius. (That's who we studied.)

With no time left, I babbled out a conclusion and let them go, trusting God would use my feeble words for His glory and their good.

This happens with writing too, doesn't it? Sometimes I get so into my characters and plot, I get stuck "playing" with them. Lost in the ebb and flow of scenes, I imagine readers' responses and it provokes me to go deeper and draw more out of them. This is a good thing. It's a GREAT thing.

For one, writing isn't only about the end product--having a book on Amazon. The journey is so awesome too, isn't it? If excitement over my story pulses through me, I see it as a gift, a joy-filled, heavenly-Father gift. And I'm gonna enjoy it.

Second, when my students see me excited about God's Word (or any topic I'm teaching on), that enthusiasm sparks their own. Can't you tell when an author has enjoyed writing a book? Surely our passion shines through the pages and impacts readers.

That's why even though I knew I'd run out of time, I let myself enjoy the process, even if it meant the ending wouldn't be as great.

I sure wouldn't do that with a novel! Well, I would let myself relish the writing journey, but I can't really get away with a rushed, "babbled" ending. The conclusion’s one of the most important parts! It’s the last impression a reader will have. We need to nail it.

But another thing I was reminded of from this week’s Bible class was that God can work even through my imperfection. I didn’t nail the ending to my class, but the gospel was spoken, however imperfectly. This doesn’t mean it’s okay to get sloppy—no it doesn’t! But we can trust that even when we fail to follow all the writing rules, God can use our words. And when something good results from our imperfect attempts, we know beyond doubt it wasn’t our doing, but the Lord’s.

What a great joy it is to serve such a gracious Savior who takes our imperfect offerings and uses them for His glory—and gives us joy along the way.
 
 
You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf. 2 Chron. 20:17 ESV

God bless and happy writing,

Ocieanna

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