Saturday, January 8, 2011

Recidivist. Reinterpretation.

For the past several weeks I have been wallowing in concern over the possibility that I had somehow misinterpreted God's leading in my life. That taking the stance God was going to use my writing for great things was fundamentally flawed. Furthermore, that the decisions I made based upon this reasoning were also fundamentally flawed. That I had wasted many years of time. As much as I felt like this was the logical conclusion given that Esther and I are currently residing in dire financial straits, I cannot honestly hold to this line of thinking as truthful. Here's why:

1) God being sovereign. It's been many years since I was laid off from Moody. When I was laid off, I felt strongly that God wanted me to pursue writing full time. I felt like this was His leading in my life. I based my actions from that point forward upon this belief. I have been calling this belief into question lately, thinking perhaps I had misinterpreted His leading. Here's the thing: If I were so grievously mistaken in my interpretation of God's will, is it really reasonable to think He would wait the greater part of a decade to correct my mistake? This question is especially poignant in light of the fact that Esther and I begged His input into our situation and have continued to do so over the years. We have always asked and asked again whether we were truly following His will. So, can I believe He would be so lax?

No I can't.

2) The true meaning of my great story. I have always tried my best to be reluctant to compliment myself or even to accept compliments from others. I work hard to not think of anything I am doing or have done as anything greater than it truly is. In fact, just to be safe, I try to think of what I've done as significantly less than it might be. This way I am less likely to make the mistake of elevating myself too highly. Despite this, I have long operated on the belief that the story I am writing is a big deal. It's truly important. It is going to make a difference. I have experienced times of writing productivity and close personal relation with God which have shown me His hand at work in my work. This more than anything has elevated the importance of my story in my mind. Surely this work is important. Lately I have called that into question. I have looked about at all the successful stories on the market today and thought that perhaps I was mistaken. Perhaps my story really wasn't any better or more meaningful than anyone else's. Certainly you, reader, would agree with this assertion. In fact, it seems ludicrous to so blankly assume the story I am writing would be in some way superior to the stories of other. For that matter, maybe my story is terrible. Maybe it is wholly unworthy of wasting anyone's time but my own. Perhaps the whole purpose of my story is simply to be an exercise which makes me believe I am more important than I am. An exercise, by that thinking, which is designed to save me from the deeper depressions of knowing I am not special or significant or capable of anything noteworthy. Maybe the story I am writing is just a salve for my pathetic personage. Here's the thing: What's so important about me feeling better about myself that God would help manufacture a lie upon which I could construct such a massive delusion? I don't see very many people walking around with meticulously constructed fantasies of grandeur that are supported by their spiritual relationship. Can I really believe my sense of worth is so important that God would act against his own nature to artificially inflate it?

No I can't.

3) I am honestly honest. My opinions and feelings about my writing career have come from a place of honesty. I felt nothing more strongly than trepidation at the concept of pursuing writing on a full time basis. I actually found it extraordinarily difficult to even write because it continually reminded me of the paying job I wasn't holding onto every time I typed another word. It wasn't my intention to invent a means by which I might abdicate my role as provider for my family. I want to provide for my family. I know it's the right thing to do. I have detested every job Esther has taken over the years to ensure our finances would be stable. Not because of the jobs themselves, but because it always felt like I put her in that position. I am honestly excited at the idea that Esther could finally stop working and return home to attend to the far more difficult task of house-wifery. Is it really fair for me to presume the last decade has been nothing more significant than a self-serving mistake simply because I can't see a clear path to where I might somehow succeed at providing for my family's needs?

No it isn't.

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