What Is Your Gift?

fall 2005 036I’ve been typing and editing away all week, getting ready for the Mt. Hermon Christian Writers Conference in Santa Cruz, California.

It’s hard to unpack all the reasons I’m excited about this: Drinking wine with old friends, cavorting among the Redwoods, smelling the Pacific, but mostly I’m thrilled to be taking another step toward what I’m meant to do with my life. It is such a relief.

The Apostle Paul told the Romans, the gifts and call of God are irrevocable, so maybe that’s why I get cranky and anxious when I’m not writing enough.

Until I started reading The Bible, I didn’t understand that while I am capable of many things, I am best at one thing, and God’s got a plan for it. I just have to cooperate.

At Mt. Hermon, they seem to get that. Not only do they round up the publishing industry folk, but everybody gathers to sing and praise the Lord first thing in the morning. It’s as though networking with God is the foundation for networking with anyone else. Evidently, at Mt Hermon somebody decided to take Proverbs 16:9 seriously:

The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.

For the last eight years, I’ve had a career in corporate insurance sales. That’s what happens when you don’t bother to let God establish your steps. I could do it, but I wasn’t made to do it. When I surrendered my stubborn streak to the Lord, I began writing. On Thursday, I’m getting on a plane with a completed manuscript in hand.

So, even if you have to use your gift on the side of everything else, get busy and do it. Next week we’ll work up strategies for how.

What Would You Rather Be Doing Right Now?

Contentment with my life, my thighs and God are just a few concerns I’ve been mulling over since hearing blogger/author Susie Davis talk about them.

As a contentment practice, Susie told us, she set a reminder on her iphone to buzz her each day at three. The reminder said,

“What would you rather be doing right now?”

“She has to be kidding,” I thought. “That would be a disaster for me because I can think up 50 things I’d rather be doing at any given time.” Things like..

going here….

or doing this….

or maybe this…

Skeptical, I tried it anyway. I set my reminder to ask every day: What would you rather be doing right now? For the past seven days, the answer has been: “Nothing. I like what I’m doing right now.”

That surprised me and made me wonder if I’m a little more content than I think I am. Here’s a seemingly obvious pearl of wisdom, that was a revelation to me:

Just because you think something, doesn’t necessarily mean it is true.

The longer we meditate on things, the easier they become our reality, ie: the more I wish I were in Paris rather than East Texas, the more miserable I usually become. This little iphone trick has shown me that while I always think I’d rather be in Paris, the evidence doesn’t always support that.

Writing

(Photo credit: jjpacres)

For the last seven days at least, I was perfectly content, sitting at my desk, just doing this.

Try it, and if the result surprises you too, comment about it.