Monday, April 2, 2018

Writer, Will You Go Anywhere God Calls You? The Problem IS the Path to the Solution

Thanks to Pixabay.com
Warning: This post is for Christians only.You can read it if you want to, but don't get mad if it's too religious for your taste!

Now, for those of you who are still reading, here's the question that's on my mind: Are you willing to go anywhere God has called you?  (Tweet that.)

I've been reading Erica Wiggenhorn's Bible study of the first twelve chapters of the book of Acts titled The Unexplainable Life (Moody, 2016). In Acts 8:26, an angel tells Philip, who was one of the original twelve disciples of Jesus, to:
"Go South to the road--the desert road--that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza" (Acts 8:26, NIV).
 About this, Erica writes:
For Philip to take the route the angel suggested meant heading into the middle of the desert. With no means of transportation, this could easily mean death. Once Philip obeyed this unexplainable request, he now became led solely by the Spirit. God is so merciful, isn't He? Asking Philip to head out to the middle of the desert was completely contrary to anything logical. Philip was an evangelist. Who would hear the message in the middle of the desert? Was he supposed to preach to the sand? After witnessing such revival in Samaria, I'm sure Philip was eager to go to another largely populated city to see what God might do there in the hearts of the people. But God sends him an angel telling him to head out into the middle nowhere. (page 164)
There Philip meets an Ethiopian who becomes a believer in Jesus and is baptized on the spot. Then Philip is miraculously whisked away instantaneously to Azotus. But that unnamed, probably bewildered, Ethiopian continued on his journey.

Again, from Erica's book:
Look at the incredible intricacy of God's timing. One seeking heart, one page of Scripture, and one willing servant of God resulted in the gospel being spread to an entire nation! God sent Philip completely out of his way to present the gospel to one solitary individual... 
This eunuch's request to understand God resulted in the truth of the gospel being brought to another continent. (pages 164-65)
I'm writing this on a flight to Los Angeles. I never started out to be a screenwriter. That crazy idea came about ten years into my writing journey. It took another ten years after that for me to actually start. Now, another eight years later, I'm flying to Los Angeles to meet with people about my screenplays.

I never would have dreamed I'd be doing this. (Tweet that.) Talk about God doing immeasurably more than I could ask or imagine...

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen" (Ephesians 3:20, NIV).

I'll admit some frustration in publishing. I haven't got the books written (yet) that I've wanted to write, let alone not yet getting the book publishing contracts I've wanted to get. I'm not where I envisioned I would be this many years into my writing career. Why? I ask myself that often. I guess "life" intervenes. Plus, there are practical reasons, such as learning how not to constantly under-estimate how long things will take to complete. Or how much time we actually have to write.

I work hard five to six days a week. I'm in my office early and stay late. And  yet... projects remain unfinished.

What about you? Does this feel familiar?

But honestly, part of the reason, when it comes to book publishing, that I haven't written as much as I wanted to is because of this "side" journey of film and screenwriting. But when you get right down to it, this "side"journey isn't really that at all. It's right where the LORD has directed my steps to bring me. When I trace the steps I've walked on my writing journey, I never could have done this or gotten here on my own. (Tweet that.)I could not have orchestrated this. Where I'm at now is more than I could have ever asked or imagined.

I recently discovered an interesting television show on the Sundance channel on Sunday mornings. It's called Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter. Each show is a panel discussion with five or six Hollywood professionals, such as producers or directors or actors or writers. They discuss the challenges of their respective jobs, what they've learned, who their heroes are, etc.

On one episode, Greta Gerwig, writer and director of the film Lady Bird (with five Academy Award nominations) talked about the problems that came up on set as she was directing. (Tweet that.) She concluded that (this may not be the exact quote but it's close): "The problem IS the path."

Interesting. How often do we, as writers or other creative professionals, strive against the problems? Buck against the obstacles? Perhaps, like the characters in our stories, we should see the obstacles in our paths not as roadblocks, but rather as directing us to the right path. (Tweet that.)

What about you? Are you "detoured" too? Or are you right where you're supposed to be, even if you're not where you planned to be? (Tweet that.)

Are you fighting the direction you're going? Or could it be the LORD is directing your path? Are you willing to go wherever the LORD wants you to go, wherever God calls you? Even if it's different from where you thought you were headed?

Yeah, me too. I'll see you out there ... on the journey.


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