Monday, November 26, 2012
Not Yet the Ocean
I have a B.S. in Biology, and during my college years the evolutionary doctrine that pervaded our curriculum actually pushed me *away* from the theory of evolution and deeper in my belief in the Bible and Christ.
But the years following college were a bit rocky when it came to that stance. Life and time allowed doubt and fears to set in, and I found myself having a conversation with God a bit like:
"I think You need to prove Your existence to me."
"Helloooooo. YOU made me all scientific-y and logic-y, so YOU should understand why I'm asking for proof."
"Um, really. You want me to believe in You, then ante up. Give me SCIENCE. If You created it, You can at least back it up. The other team is doing it."
*me, searching online, at the library, wherever, and finding nothing*
"Seriously, this is uncool. I need facts, figures, something. You want me, You need to deliver the goods first."
*me, not knowing what to do, what to think, and getting depressed*
Then one day, at the bottom of the well....
"Fine. Okay, fine. Yes. FINE. Have it Your way. You are SO stubborn. I guess I'm just going to have to believe in You without proof if You insist on being that way. Sheesh."
A few days later, I'm at Lifeway--for a reason I don't even remember--birthday gift shopping for my grandmother?--and I spy a display of books. The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel. I open the book. I see that it's a compilation of interviews with scientists who have all written books about Creation science.
"Are You freaking kidding me??? This has been here the whole time? This, and all the books listed in the back here? WHY could I not find them before? Were You hiding this from me?"
Some of you may say it was just coincidence, but I assure you I was trying very hard to find answers. I truly believe God wanted me to take that first step of faith.
Why am I telling you all this?
It feels like it's happening again. Only this time it's my writing that I'm having to take that step of faith with.
"Huh?" you may be saying. I know, I've BEEN writing for over five years now! But I've been expecting, well, actual sales. I was expecting my sales to go UP after Seeking Unseen came out. I was expecting a lot of things that have not happened. Despite Finding Angel winning awards and some great reviews, I'm not seeing that translating into sales of Seeking Unseen. I'm not seeing word of mouth doing its job.
Sidestep a bit. After small group, I went to church service. One of the verses we were looking at was Philippians 2:3, which reads, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition..."
That hit hard. Is that what I'm doing? Yes, I started writing because I wanted to be published. To sell books. To have people read those books. But I didn't think I was being selfishly ambitious. I write as much for readers as I do for me. And it's the writing, the stories I want getting noticed. Not me!
Sure, I haven't been one of those writers who claims to not care if their books don't sell. "If just one person is touched by my story, it will all have been worth it." Really? God would have you write a whole novel, take years from your life, and not use it for more than one person? I don't think He grooves that way.
No, I think He still has plans for me and my writing. Bigger plans. But I am still mid-step, that first step. It's just a BIG, looooooong step. One that may mean me writing and publishing the whole Toch Island series. And possibly another book or two before anything major happens.
I have to hit the bottom of the well like I did before and accept that I have to do MY work FIRST. And THEN God will follow through.
I'll finish this off with the fortune I got in my fortune cookie with dinner last night:
"Faith is knowing there is an ocean when you can only see the stream."
Coincidence that I got that particular fortune yesterday? Hm. No. I'm standing in the stream right now. It IS moving. But it's not the ocean.