Signs of Christmas are everywhere and gift ideas have been tumbling through my mind. What should I get for my husband, children and grandchildren? I’ve also been thinking about the greatest gift of all—Jesus Christ. What must it have been like to be Mary when she looked upon her son, God’s son? The Christ child lay in her arms only because she’d bowed her will to God. When she chose to obey did she know the sacrifices and heartache that lay before her?
Although our callings may seem insignificant when compared to Mary’s they matter. They impact the world. When God called us to write were we thinking about him or about riches, fame, self-fulfillment? Did we understand that the gift required sacrifice and maybe even heartache? I distinctly remember how I felt when it became clear that God had asked me to write. My first emotion was gratitude. I was overwhelmed by the privilege of serving God in this way, and I was filled with wonder that he’d chosen me.
I leapt into this new quest praising God every day for the privilege. It was a thrilling time. Words flowed onto the page and joy flowed from my heart. Then there was a book two and three and four and . . . somewhere along the way the joy became blurred by personal desires. Although I tried not to be self absorbed I’d glance at other writers who were more successful and wonder why not me? Had they worked harder? Maybe. Were they better writers? Some of them. And I asked, “Is this fair? I’ve worked hard too."
When I set out on my journey I didn’t know what would be required. We can't possibly see the whole picture when we begin an adventure. There is always the unexpected. When the excursion became more difficult than I’d anticipated and held fewer earthly rewards than I’d hoped for I lost sight of the calling.
Throughout the years, I've fought to keep my eyes on God and off of me. Although I clearly understand that man’s perspective of success differs greatly from God’s I still sometimes find myself fixated on man’s idea of the grand plan.
Writing can’t be about me. My walk with God can’t be about me. It’s all about Him. John 6:29 says, "The work of God is this; to believe in the one he has sent."
That’s my job—to believe. It’s not about my writing, marketing or book sales. My mind must remain with my Savior. I need to remember and to be thankful for his sacrifice and never forget that the greatest gift is belonging to Him. The rest will take care of itself.
So . . . dear writing brothers and sisters, where is your focus? Set your eyes upon The One who gave everything, and the tasks he gives shall unfold just as they should. Trust Him with everything you are and all that you do, and all will be as it should be.
Grace and peace to you from God.