By Cynthia Ruchti
Many of us who write for God confess we’re learning more about Him on the journey than we could ever capture on paper.
What do I believe about God’s role in my writing? Theologically speaking-or doctrinally speaking-do I act as if I believe He has reasons for how long it takes to get published? Or do I assume the delay can’t possibly be His will?
Am I buying into the false teaching that if it’s of God, it wouldn’t be this much work? Even the wilderness-wandering children of Israel knew better than that. The Lord gave the manna, but they had to go collect it. And cook with it. And clean up the residue before it spoiled. (Hmm. Sounds like research, first draft, and editing to me.)
What’s my doctrinal stand on the whole “pride goeth before a fall” issue as it relates to writing?
What do I really believe about God’s sovereignty regarding the time span between contracts, or the subject of bestseller lists, or the book project that can’t find a home?
If I believe He numbers the hairs on my head, does that translate into His knowing how hairy an author’s life can get when focused on numbers?
My agent, Wendy Lawton of the Books & Such Literary Agency, recently said, “Nothing steals creativity like hand-wringing. Our artistry and imagination shrivel in the face of worry.”
Does my writing doctrine support the idea that we unleash heaven’s power when we focus on obedience over numbers? Do numbers matter to God? Sure. The Bible tells us in a song of praise to the Lord, “Saul has slain his thousands. David has his tens of thousands” (I Samuel 18:7).
But even David knew obedience trumps numbers any day. At the end of his life, when he had few words left, he used some of them to give final-and we assume most vital-instructions to his successor, his son Solomon. He didn’t instruct Solomon about racking up battle scores in the tens of thousands. Instead he said, “Be strong and brave, and keep your obligation to the Lord your God to walk in His ways and to keep His statutes, commandments, judgments, and testimonies…so that you will have success in everything you do and wherever you turn” (I Kings 2:2-3, Holman Bible).
That’s true “success in numbers.”
Do my actions and concerns belie (when’s the last time you used THAT word in a sentence?) or support what I say I believe about God?
Is the Lord the Editor of my faith or the Author of it? Both.
Hebrews 12:2 (Holman Bible) says, “Let us…run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter (the Author and Editor) of our faith.”
Lord, even when I’m writing about kidney-shaped coffee tables or beaded reticules or mosquitoes the size of needle-beaked hawks, help me cling to the truth of who You are and always see myself as the author with a small-case A and You as the capitalized Author and Perfecter of my faith.
Cynthia Ruchti is past-president of ACFW and serves as ACFW’s professional relations liaison. Reflecting her heart for storytelling, her current release is His Grace is Sufficient…Decaf is Not, a devotional collection with three other ACFW novelists (Summerside). You can read about her novels on the shelves and on the horizon at www.cynthiaruchti.com.