Grand scale is everything these days. Frodo saves Middle Earth. The Skywalkers will save the galaxy. The Avengers save New York City, which, to New York City-ites, that’s pretty much saving earth. But what if you’re just little ol’ you trying to make a difference. Fear not, fellow unknown. Your life too can be similar to these grand epics. After all, what do they have that you don’t have. A mentor? A Padawan? Fellow Hobbits? But first, some background…
“Sound and Fury, signifying nothing” (Me pondering my writing skills, or lack thereof.)
Last year, I had the honor of attending two writing conferences, one geared toward fiction and devotional writing, and one toward periodical and online writing. As an author/writer, attending writing conferences feels like you are paying money to have people throw your faults in your face. They do encourage me as a writer, but mostly I inwardly groan at all the mistakes I make when I put pen to paper (or fingers to keys). On the other hand, there is much to be gleaned from those who have been in the business and know the pitfalls. They are happy to share their mistakes so that you don’t make the same ones.
Every Frodo needs a Sam
I’ve also started having writing nights at my house. My writing buddies and I can commiserate about the struggles of writing, drink tea, snack, and maybe even get some writing done. Those friendships, forged over publishing woes and writer’s block, are necessary for encouragement in the writer’s journey. We often feel like halflings trying to make it through a world populated by the full-grown J.K. Rowlings and George R.R. Martins. Mostly though, we’re just happy if we can sell our books, or if our blogs get a hundred views. (Shameless self-promotion: if you like this post, share it!)
Seen as Yoda, Feel like Jar-Jar
Recently, a young writer who is starting her journey as an authoress began picking my brain for tips about writing. Perhaps I should tell her I have no clue what I am doing either! It is an honor that she looks at me as the Jedi to her Padawan, but I’m pretty sure that I’m way out of my depth. One day, she will be the master, and I will be the learner. (Is that how the saying goes from Episode IV? Help me out Star Wars fans!)
Learning from those who have gone before, practicing with my peers, and encouraging beginning writers. It’s the life cycle of an author.
It is also the life cycle – and should be the lifestyle – of a Christian.
Even though I have been saved for many years, I am so not where I need to be spiritually. There is so much of the Bible to discover. Attending church services isn’t just an outdated tradition, it is a necessary part of growth. I participated in a church mentoring program to learn from women who have “been there; done that,” and want to share what they learned as a woman of God, trying to obey His commands. You can never reach full understanding of God and His Word, but that doesn’t mean you should stop trying.
Fellowship of the King
Accountability is a duty of the Christian. The Christian life is to be lived in the fellowship with other Christians. Love your neighbor. Bear one another’s burden and restore them if they fall. Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. As much as we love being independent, we’re never truly independent. We’re part of an interconnected body of Christ.
Go, you shall. Make disciples, you must.
Lastly, Jesus never told his disciples to “Change the World.” He told them to “Go and Make Disciples.” Disciple-making implies an ongoing, intentional relationship with those that are believers. To train new writers, or to raise new Christians, you have to be willing to pour your life into them, and it doesn’t mean you have to be perfect. Just be willing to grow yourself and share what you’ve learned on your journey.
The final pages are yet to be written.
My life won’t be very “epic.” I doubt as a writer I’ll become a best-selling authoress. Nor as a Christian will I become as well-known or admired as Billy Graham.
I do have a role to play as a member of the church, and so do you. If I obey, serve, and disciple in truth and love, then at the end of my time, I will hear my Father say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” You can’t get much more epic than that.