I’ve been banging my head against a brick wall, waiting for a breakthrough. Not literally, of course. But every minute of work on my current novel has felt this way. I wanted to get it done. Fast. Early. I wanted it to be at least good—though fabulous would have been better. In the meantime, I’ve been reading through Psalms and contemplating Christmas. And then it all came together.
Not my story, though that would have been nice. No, what came clearly into focus was that my focus had shifted. It had moved from being grateful to the Lord for letting me do what I love to do—write fiction that illustrates His truths—into a desire to be noticed, to be lauded, both for the story and for how quickly I turned it out. Not an attitude that fares well when put up against Mary’s song of praise at being told of her coming pregnancy or the angels lauding the birth of the Savior of men or shepherds leaving their flocks to come worship or kings who gave of their time and their wealth to bless the King of Kings. And when combined with the spotlight of David’s praise of his God even in the midst of dire circumstances, the darkness in my heart became evident.
I guess I’m discovering yet again that this writing journey is about so much more than accomplishing the writing. It’s about recognizing my characters flaws, my weaknesses, and falling on His grace and strength. It’s about growing my faith and conquering my pride. But even with all of that, it really isn’t about me at all. It’s about God using His work in me to declare His own glory and power and strength. My purpose is simply to praise Him through my life and my words, even if the crafting of both of those things takes longer than I wish it would. And isn’t that the attitude of Christmas—our response of praise to God’s display of Himself all around us?
May your Christmas season be filled with the joy that comes from praising our God.