Allen Arnold stunned me last month. We were teaching a workshop at the annual ACFW conference (American Christian Fiction Writers) titled LIVE FREE, WRITE FREE. It’s our belief authors can’t write the deepest and most powerful stories inside them if they’re not living from a heart of freedom.
At one point in the workshop, Allen asked the group, “How would you respond if God asked you to write a novel that only He would ever see?” Wow. It stopped me cold. In that moment my perspective shifted.
What if it’s true that we are to die to self? What if it’s true that it’s no longer I who live but Christ lives in me? What if it’s true we must lose our life to save it?
For the past few years Jesus has been showing me these things and when Allen asked the question I realized it’s the critical question for any writer, pre-published or not. Is my writing about me or Him? Am picking up my laptop for Him, or myself? Can I really trust him on this journey? That He knows what He’s doing?
I realized getting published can be about me, and not necessarily about Him.
I realized my part is stepping into the calling He’s given me, the rest is His part.
Yes, I know it’s easy for me to say on this side of publication. But trust me, getting published isn’t the end all. Published authors worry about sales numbers, will they get another contract, scathing reviews, bad edits, etc., etc., etc. So the implications of Allen’s question apply to us as well.
And apply to anyone with a dream and a calling whatever it is.
Write that novel. Record the song. Get the painting done. Reach out to that estranged friend. Start the restaurant. Go on that trip.
Our part is to step out in faith. To quote an old Keith Green song, “He’ll take care of the rest.”
James L. Rubart is the best-selling, award winning author of ROOMS, BOOK OF DAYS, THE CHAIR, and SOUL’S GATE (Nov 2012). He’s married with two sons, and loves to dirt bike, hike, golf, take photos, and still thinks he’s young enough to water ski like a madman. More at www.james.rubart.com