We are now in the thick of November, which for me means time to beat the bushes selling my Advent book. Like many professions, being an author has its fun parts and not so fun parts.
Writing the book. Fun! Marketing and selling the book. Not so much fun.
Can’t we go back to the days where authors get to be hermits churning out thoughtful words while other more extroverted, bubbly people get to do the selling? I guess not.
This past Friday I was getting caught up in some of the not so fun moments. I was worrying about finding more ways to share my little book with the world, fretting about the delivery date of my next book shipment, and wondering if everyone else’s advent book was better than mine.
My mind was running from worry to worry when all of a sudden I looked out the window and saw this.
Then I heard myself whispering, ‘Oh, it doesn’t really matter, does it?”
You see the Merciful One has been teaching me something recently. A lesson I sorely needed to learn.
After spending the summer gearing up to market my new devotional study on anxiety to publishers only to follow up with selling the Advent book during the fall, my book selling self got slowed way down.
When the neck spasms hit and the anxiety flared I wasn’t so worried about selling anymore and was more concerned about just living.
And when I hit that place and cried out to God, God answered, exactly. This is exactly where I want you.
For it turns out that God is more interested in my Self than my Service.
And desires my Worship more than my Work.
I had become so convinced that God’s plan for me was to write and share my words with the world that I had forgotten the main plan for me is to love and be loved by God. The Beloved desires relationship with me above all else and that was something I had been sadly neglecting.
So those first pitiful weeks, I laid on the sofa and read my Psalms book and prayed and prayed. And I looked out the window and remembered how beautiful the maple trees are and how clever of God it was to make them. And then I gave thanks for the ever changing but always beautiful sky and my ever changing but always beautiful children. And then I marveled at how brilliant it was that God made dogs so soft and warm and ready to cuddle.
It became a regular love fest there on the sofa with me and God and all the goodness that I had been neglecting to see.
And I started to realize that no words that I or anyone else would ever write could compare to God’s own speaking through sunsets and thunderstorms and the hum of cicadas.
It is not that I ever gave up writing and speaking during this time. I still think God wants me to communicate Love and Hope to others.
It is that I realized my listening was of infinite more importance than the sharing of my words.
And that God will love me and be equally pleased with me if I sell 2 books or 2,000. For my service is just a secondary response to God’s love and grace in my life. It is not the main act.
And in the end it doesn’t really matter how good or bad my words are. It is more about remembering to notice God’s grace and glory around me, give thanks and praise for it, and then as best I can reflect some of that off to others.
So here is to mediocre words and fantastic sunsets.
This week may you remember though your work may be necessary, it is not the main thing. May you know how deeply cherished you areby the Beloved and how fully you are held by grace.