Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.
This quote from St. Augustine is taped beside my desktop monitor, so I’ll be reminded of it daily.
While I value a strong work ethic, and desire to give my all to whatever creative project I put my hand to (at the moment: editing one manuscript while researching, plotting, and writing another) I also know that in so many ways what I want to accomplish with every novel I tackle is beyond my present ability to pull off. I learned that by writing the first one. I learned it again with the second. I have the lesson driven home every time I reach The End.
But it’s at the start of the process when this realization can be most daunting. Because I know now how insanely hard it is to write a novel. Because at the outset there are far more questions than answers. So many choices about plot and character and theme. It can be overwhelming if I forget that I have an infinitely creative and caring God who is faithful, day by day, scene by scene, even line by line, to show me the next step. And the next.
If I ask Him to.
When that next step is revealed, no matter how small or insignificant it seems, I’m learning not to hesitate, but to take it. Write the scene. Add the character. Make the change. Whatever it may be. Often it’s not until I do so that the step after that is revealed: the knotty plot problem untangled, the character issue solved.
One step at a time.
“As soon as the priests who carry the ark of the Lord–the Lord of all the earth–set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.” Joshua 3:13Who can help but admire those brave Levites! They carried the ark of the covenant right into the water, for the river was not dived until “their feet touched the water’s edge (v. 15).” God has promised nothing else. ~Thomas Champness
How steadying to remind myself, and Him, each morning that I’m depending on Him for inspiration, focus, wisdom, insight, creativity, and energy every single time I come to the computer to write, or while I’m researching. For those unexpected moments when story ideas seem to drop into my head out of nowhere, like the gifts they are. He’s been faithful for years to provide these essential elements of novel crafting. It’s my part to show up each day, expecting it, ready to give it my best.
When God is the architect, men are the bricklayers and laborers. Faith assists God. It can shut the mouths of lions and quench the most destructive fire. Faith still honors God, and God honors faith.Oh, for the kind of faith that will move ahead, leaving God to fulfill His promise when He sees fit! ~ Thomas Champness
What path has He placed you on? Whatever is it, work as though everything depended on you, then pray as though everything depended on Him!
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