Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Am I Willing To Commit?

The room was filled with eager listeners soaking up profound wisdom and encouragement from the seasoned editor.
Her words provoked hearts to dig deeper, 
to go for it, 
to trust. 

Her persuasive words settled firm in mid air as if placed right before me... 

Claim your gift, then commit to it.

The real question became clear. 

Am I willing to commit? 

Until that moment I wandered confused in my thoughts.  She continued on with details of how to recognize a gift. I felt hopeful, even confident. 

Passion, joy, and acknowledgement from others were a few key points. These things I could not deny. 

I love to write. I especially love to write about things that stir my heart, putting words to the deep things in deep places. 
In the past, my unbelief rejected kindly commendation for fear its value might have little or no weight. Yet, in that moment I was given permission to accept my gift.  I had something and I was finally willing to claim it. 

Then came the harder hurdle. The true challenge that had followed me long was now calling me out- 

Am I willing to commit? 

I found myself face to face with a deeper, far more important question; the real issue;  Am I willing to do whatever it might take-to learn, to labor, to sacrifice-all for the gift?

This challenged me to get serious. To decide. 

So today, I admit out loud I want to be a writer. 
I want to do this. 
No, I will do this.   

This place of decision to commit to being a writer made me think about Salvation.

The parallels of the two are quite evident and compelling to me. However, the ability to acknowledge the gift of Salvation is very different. In either case, whether to be a writer, a God-given talent and desire to pursue, or to be a Christian, a God-given, God-sacrificed atonement that pursues me, I must claim it. 

Nothing becomes mine if I fail to claim it. But, I must also commit to it.

It seems to make no sense at all to recognize and receive either or both and stop there. The hand and heart exchange of receiving these does no good if I don't then, act, if I don't commit. 

To be anything worthy, to do anything well I must be dedicated to learning and to keep learning. And I must be willing to labor, to work it out, and to sacrifice for the name of the call. 

To be a writer far too easily and far to often becomes about others. 
The acknowledgement, 
the approval, 
the need for acceptance. 

It's only joy can sadly become about what others think.  
As much as I might try to protect myself from these lusts of the flesh, I discover how difficult it is. 

I can easily fall into this same trap as a Christian. The Bible is clear that the foundation of being a Christian should never be about what others think. It's defining value rides on what God thinks. Committing to God should never be about gaining the acknowledgement of others or their approval and acceptance. 

Obviously, I'm not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ's servant. Galatians 1:10

Commitment to my Salvation must always be about Jesus.

If my goal turns into people pleasing, which seems to be a sacrificial way of pleasing myself, while trying to please God, I will fail.  

and disappointment 
will be my way. 

To learn God's ways, His ways of loving, His ways of living, laboring in prayer, sacrificing of my own way, giving up approval of others, risking rejection, even persecution, comes with the territory.

This can be hard stuff. But, this is what it takes. 
This is commitment. 

I see how God illustrates His way. Isn't it always the opposite of the world's ways? 
As the world calls us to want, to need, to crave approval, God says no. Your approval comes from Me alone.

Yes, I have committed to writing, but I risk greatly. 
Not for fear of disapproval, but that my passion for writing might turn into a passion to please.

This has always been my heart, my reason to write: 
My passion for Jesus, He beckons me to write. 
My love for Him that seeks His attention. 

My joy is to find myself smack dab in the middle of both my gifts-writing for Him, with Him and about Him. 

May I never lose sight of this sacred motive.

"No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other."  Matthew 6:24a

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