A book that sweeps us up and whisks us away to a new world, another time, with new friends. A book that engages us, challenges us, and gives us a new perspective on our own lives.
And there’s nothing like a good book to make a writer say, “Hey, I want to write a book like that.”
Of course, that’s impossible. That book has already been written. That author wrote it. However, as writers, God has given us our own stories to tell. He’s equipped us with the right words, the right plot, the right characters.
A couple of weekends ago, I read Soul’s Gate by James Rubart. The brief “tagline,” if you will, for it would be something like: “Four strangers gather together to learn how to vie for someone’s soul–from within that soul.” While I agree with Jim that it is doubtful that it is actually possible to go into someone else’s soul, the other themes of the story were pretty powerful. The things that are possible when we have faith. God is amazing. He does the awe-inspiring all the time. The things that we are capable of when we answer His calling is mind-blowing.
Jesus told us that with faith the size of a mustard seed, we can move mountains–literally. How many of us actually think we could do this? It’s hard to imagine telling a mountain to do anything, much less move, even if it is by the power of the most Holy God.
But it is possible.
God gives us the power by His calling.
I know He will use my writing–be it fiction or non-fiction–mightily for His cause. I am called to write, and the act of writing on my part is an act of obedience and worship. I am allowing Him to use the calling on my life to work to bring glory to Him.
I may or may not be a best-selling author like Ted Dekker or James Scott Bell or Jerry B. Jenkins, but I know that my writing is going to make a difference in someone else’s life (and not just mine). God has assured me of this time and time again when I wonder if the sacrifice is worth it.
Another book that I am currently reading, The Remedy by Serena Chase (Book 2 in the Eyes of E’veria series), follows a young woman, who goes from being a ward in a dukes home to being the princess prophesied to free her kingdom from the hold of the enemy. In this book, she has to go on a quest to recover the remedy, and in doing so faces much opposition (of course). She knows who she is now and the powers she posses. The first time she tries go up against the enemy, she fails and it almost kills her. She has no more strength, almost no more will to live.
Then she remembers. She is not capable of any of this on her own. She was not the one who possessed the powers she claimed–God was. She was only ever able to do anything with her powers because He allowed it. He gave her the gifts, and it was only by calling on Him that she could use them effectively. (Funny aside, that’s exactly one of the themes in the allegory I’m working on).
God and I had it out a couple of weeks ago. I was done with writing. I was ready to say “enough,” and throw in the towel. I was tired. I was spent. And then I read Soul’s Gate. What a tall drink of living water that story was! I finished reading it, on the verge of tears through the entire second half of the book (it’s not really a tear-jerker–that’s just what was going on in my life). God spoke to my soul and told me, “This is what you’re missing. You have not invited me to join you–and you cannot do this without me.”
Talk about a loving chastisement.
Who am I without God? Lost. I am doomed to fail on my own power.
What am I without God? Nothing. It is only by His grace that I can write this, and anything else.
Why do I insist on learning everything the hard way?